Rwanda: First solar powered school set for launch

The Government and the European Union (EU) Delegation in Rwanda will, today, inaugurate the first school in the country to be powered by solar photovoltaic energy.

A solar panel in Kigali City. The first school powered by solar energy will be unveiled today. The New TimesFile photo

Musenyi School located Bugesera District is part of a project dubbed Increase Rural Energy Access in Rwanda through Public-Private Partnerships (IREARPPP), which will benefit a total of 300 rural schools in 27 different districts.

The supply and installation of photovoltaic and electrical equipment for the project is co-financed by the European Commission to the tune of €3.8m and the Government which contributed €2m.

The EU delegation disclosed the project is being rolled out by a private company ISOFOTON, and its local sub-contractors SITECO and INTERTECH.

“This photovoltaic component adds to the mini-hydropower component within the same project, a plant of 2 MW (Rukarara-II) in Nyamagabe District, to supply electricity to around 30.000 households.”

According to the delegation, the project is implemented by the Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC) with financing worth €4.1 million from the EU.

The beneficiaries of the solar photovoltaic project will be students and lecturers in the recipient schools, estimated to be above 300,000 as well as surrounding local communities.

Under the project, local personnel will receive training for the operation and maintenance of the systems, while local companies would be engaged with the goal of promoting a dynamic private sector specialised in solar energy.

The project is aligned with the Energy Policy and Strategy of the Government of Rwanda, and contributes to actualise the commitment expressed by the EU Commissioners.

The EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, and the EU Commissioner for Energy, Gunther Oettinger, in September 2010 made the commitment at the occasion of the first High Level Meeting of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) in Vienna, Austria.

The commissioners announced the launch of a Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) aimed at bringing relevant renewable energy technologies to the African market and access to modern and sustainable energy services to at least an additional 100 million Africans.

The inauguration ceremony will draw, public sector representatives, as well as national institutions and individuals interested in clean energy.

The event will be chaired by the Minister of State of Energy Eng. Coletha Ruhamya and the Director General of Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority, Yves Muyange.

The Head of the European Union Delegation in Rwanda, Ambassador Michel Arrion will attend.

Source – The New Times – Rwanda By Edmund Kagire