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USTDA Supports Solar Power Development in Burundi



Monday, March 30, 2015

(USTDA)  ARLINGTON, VA – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant to Gigawatt Global Burundi S.A. to support the development of a 7.5-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic power plant in Mubuga, Burundi. The grant funds a feasibility study that will address key technical and economic aspects of the solar project, conduct environmental and social impact assessments, and provide the necessary analysis for the developers to secure financing.

“This project presents a unique opportunity to link U.S. industry expertise with the advancement of clean energy in Burundi,” said USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak, who signed the grant agreement along with Gigawatt Global VP of Finance Michael Fichtenberg. “On behalf of our partners under Power Africa, which seeks to increase access to power and promote greater private investment in sub-Saharan Africa’s energy sector, USTDA is pleased to formalize our partnership with Gigawatt Global Burundi.”

“The preparations for the Burundi plant build upon our success in Rwanda, where we recently launched East Africa’s largest utility-scale solar field with the help of our Power Africa partners,” said Mr. Fichtenberg.

Currently, only four percent of Burundi’s population has residential access to electricity. Implementation of the proposed solar plant would increase Burundi’s installed electricity generation capacity by an estimated 15 percent, helping to power over 60,000 households and businesses. The plant would be the first utility-scale solar energy generation facility in Burundi.

The opportunity to conduct the USTDA-funded feasibility study will be competed through Federal Business Opportunities (FBO). A link to the FBO announcement will be posted to USTDA’s website at www.ustda.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement.