The African Development Bank through managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) approved a $990,000 grant to support the preparation of a 9-MW solar-hydro hybrid project in Burundi.
The project consists of two plants, each consisting a solar and a hydro component, a local distribution network and interconnection to the national power grid. The innovative hybrid design is seen to regularize the output of power during the dry and wet season and mitigate power shortfalls caused by climate change.
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The SEFA grant is instrumental in assuring project bankability it will support technical feasibility, social impact and environmental assessment and financial advisory for the solar-hydro hybrid project.
The project will electrify about 20,000 households in surrounding communities through a local distribution network upon completion.
As a result of more electricity access the project will further generate socio-economic benefits especially for women and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).
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“In addition to the energy access and socio-economic benefits, with the strong government support, this innovative project will pave the way for increased private sector participation in renewable energy to diversify the energy mix in Burundi,” said Wale Shonibare, the Bank’s Acting Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate, and Green Growth.
As he welcomed SEFA’s support, Daniel Brose, President and CEO of Songa Energy Burundi said, “We are privileged to have secured this funding which is instrumental to the further development of our portfolio. This funding will bring us and the people of Burundi one step closer to our collective goal of widespread rural electrification in a country that has one of the lowest rates of access to electricity in the world.”
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Burundi’s project is fully aligned with African Development Bank strategic goal of supporting inclusive green growth by promoting access to clean, modern, reliable and affordable energy services in rural areas as well as promote energy access and renewable energy technologies.
It is also aligned with Burundi’s government objectives to expand the capacity of renewable energy generation and promote private sector involvement in the energy sector.
The Bank-hosted SEFA is a multi-donor facility funded by the governments of Denmark, the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, Norway and Spain. It supports Africa’s sustainable energy agenda through grants and concessional investments.