The solar pioneer, Gigawatt Global has extended its services to Africa with provision of solar street lights in Bujumbura, Burundi, reports NaijaAgroNet.
The Chief Executive Officer, Gigawatt Global , Yosef I. Abramowitz, made this disclosure, saying that by expanding investments from commercial scale projects to include off-grid additionally, the company has positively impacted lives of millions of people in Burundi and throughout Africa.
Downtown Bujumbura, he said, just got a little brighter, thanks to an innovative partnership between Mayor Freddy Mbonimpa and Gigawatt Global, a founding member of United States Power Africa's Beyond the Grid programme.
Abramowitz also said that this week solar-powered ‘light islands’ began appearing in the heavily-trafficked central bus station and nearby marketplace, extending commercial hours and personal safety.
“The city of Bujumbura is very pleased to be working with Gigawatt Global on this important solar street lighting project,” said Mayor Freddy Mbonimpa. “This project will enhance security as well as provide opportunities for economic development to the citizens of Bujumbura. It is the hope and wish of all involved that this project can spread throughout the city, as well as expand to other cities in Burundi within the near future.”
Gigawatt Global is now in discussions to scale the solar-powered ‘light islands’ program throughout the city and in other major Burundian towns.
“We are grateful and pleased to work with the city of Bujumbura, and the Honorable Mayor Freddy Mbonimpa to realise this important first step of the solar street lighting project,” said Michael Fichtenberg, Managing Director of Gigawatt Global Burundi.
“We intend to expand throughout the capital and to other locations as part of our larger program of green electrification in Burundi, with 40 'light islands' planned in the first phase of the program,” Fichtenberg continued.
“Every country in which we develop commercial scale solar fields will receive additional benefits like these ‘light islands’ and rural electrification with mini-grids.”
Gigawatt Global, which provides 100 per cent financing for its projects, pioneered commercial scale solar power plants in sub-Sahara Africa, launching the first one in Rwanda in 2014, which is currently supplying 6 per cent of the country's generation capacity. Gigawatt Global will complete a 7.5 Mw solar field in the Gitega region of Burundi in the next six months, which will supply 15% of the East African country's generation capacity. Similar projects are currently being developed in 10 African countries, including Liberia and South Sudan, among many others.
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Bujumbura Mayor and Gigawatt Global leaders Michael Fichtenberg and Nathaniel Johnson sign the solar 'Light Islands' deal