AfDB okays grant to kick-start 9-MW solar-hydro hybrid project in Burundi

Solar panels. Author: John S. Quarterman. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

December 18 (Renewables Now) - The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), a multi-donor trust fund administered by the African Development Bank (AfDB), has cleared a grant to support the first steps to implementing a 9-MW solar and hydropower hybrid project in Burundi.

The beneficiary of the USD-990,000 (EUR 888,100) grant is Songa Energy Burundi, a developer of small hydropower plants in the small Central African nation.

The AfDB announced the grant on Tuesday saying that the SEFA funds will enable technical feasibility studies, environmental and social impact assessment, as well as financial advisory for the project.

The project involves the construction of two power plants, each combining solar and hydro components, a local distribution network and interconnection to the national electricity grid.

Once the project is finalised, it will allow around 20,000 households in the surrounding communities to have access to electricity while also creating socio-economic benefits for women and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the AfDB highlighted.

According to the World Bank database, the landlocked nation of Burundi had a population of around 11.2 million in 2018, but only 9.3% of its citizens had access to electricity in 2017, as the financial organisation’s last publicly available data show.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.9)

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