A 9MW solar-hydro hybrid project in development in Burundi is to benefit from a $990,000 grant awarded by the African Development Bank-managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA).
The SEFA grant, which is instrumental in assuring project bankability, will support technical feasibility, environmental and social impact assessment and financial advisory for the project.
The project consists of two plants, each featuring a solar and a hydro component as well as a local distribution network and interconnection to the national power grid. The innovative hybrid design is anticipated to regularize the power output during dry and wet season and mitigate power shortfalls caused by climate change.
Upon completion, the project will also electrify about 20,000 households in surrounding communities through a local distribution network. By enhancing access to electricity, the project will also generate socio-economic benefits especially for women and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).
“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.
Welcoming 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."
The project is fully aligned with the Bank’s strategic goal to support inclusive green growth by promoting access to clean, modern, reliable and affordable energy services in rural areas, and to promote energy access and renewable energy technologies. It is also aligned to the Government of Burundi’s objectives to expand renewable energy generation capacity, and promote private sector involvement in the energy sector.