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New Solar Project at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Begins Operation
Press Release – For Immediate Release
March 16, 2016
KIGALI, RWANDA – Earlier this month, a solar system developed by Centennial Generating Co. became operational at the Genocide Memorial in Kigali, Rwanda.
The solar project, installed at no upfront cost to the Memorial, will meet the majority of the facility’s power needs during sunlight hours and will help the Memorial to reduce its electricity costs and carbon footprint. During Phase 2 of the project, scheduled for later this year, Centennial will co-locate the existing solar system with battery storage in order to maintain the facility’s operational resiliency and reduce a large portion of the Genocide Memorial’s need for standby diesel generation.
“The Kigali Genocide Memorial is a historic place and will continue to be for many generations to come. We are working hard to ensure that the Memorial is sustainable, both financially and environmentally. Through our partnership with Centennial, the Memorial is becoming environmentally sustainable. Instead of requiring upfront capital, Centennial is selling us the electricity generated by the solar system at a discount compared to our current power costs. This will allow us to dedicate more funds to our remembrance and peace education programs,” said Honore Gatera, Manager of the Kigali Genocide Memorial.
Noting that the majority of solar investment in markets throughout the African continent is currently based in rural areas for pay-as-you-go solar kits in villages and large utility-scale projects that sell electricity into the national grid, Founder and Managing Director of Centennial, David John Frenkil, said, “While these rural solar projects are extremely important for the region’s development, Centennial focuses on a currently under-addressed challenge for commercial and industrial customers in and near urban centers that need more affordable and reliable power supply.”
He added, “In a region with an average age under 21, which is also currently experiencing an unprecedented demographic shift to cities, we are deploying on-site distributed power systems for customers like Aegis Trust because African markets can’t rely alone on centralized power plants with four-to-five year development horizons.”
Centennial’s solar project at the Genocide Memorial will serve as a site for training programs for renewable energy operations and maintenance skills in coordination with the non-profit organization Women for Women International.
Such on-site power projects for commercial and industrial facilities will also benefit the local government by deferring the need for new infrastructure costs, accelerating energy production to support Rwanda’s goal of building new electricity generating capacity, and increasing foreign investment in the economy. Also, the battery storage systems will benefit Rwanda’s electricity market because it offers lawmakers the option of incorporating ancillary services into the country’s regulatory framework to improve the reliability of the national grid, including reactive power-voltage regulation, load dispatch services and energy imbalance services.
PowerGen Renewable Energy, led by Sam Slaughter and Mark Wopicho, was a valuable partner for Centennial throughout the development of the solar project, as they offered expert system design and installation. Logistics support was provided by Pan-Africa Logistics, led by Joseph Mabuye and supported by Gloria Ayebazibwe. Contractors for the project included C4 Construction Company, through its General Manager, Bruce MacDonald, Project Manager, Jean Marcel Ngabo, and Quantity Surveyor, Aristide Ishimwe, which built the café expansion project, set to be commissioned in April. The café expansion was designed by Robert Rubarema for Landmark Architects.
Based in Rwanda, Centennial offers affordable, reliable and non-polluting power systems for businesses throughout the region at no upfront cost. Centennial finances, installs, owns, operates and maintains the power system which co-locates solar and battery storage systems. Centennial is currently working with customers representing various sectors of Rwanda’s economy, including hotels, office buildings, factories, mines, food distribution companies, health clinics, and large residences. Installation of Centennial’s projects typically take less than 4 weeks from start of construction to commercial operation.
About the Kigali Genocide Memorial
The Kigali Genocide Memorial is a place of remembrance and learning. It is the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi. The Memorial includes three permanent exhibitions, the largest of which documents the 1994 Genocide. There is also a children’s memorial and an exhibition on the history of genocide and mass atrocity around the world.
The education center, reflection gardens and Genocide Archive of Rwanda located at the Memorial offer a meaningful tribute to those who perished, and provide a powerful educational experience for visitors. The Kigali Genocide Memorial is run by genocide prevention organization Aegis Trust on behalf of Rwanda’s National Commission for the Fight against Genocide.
Learn more about the Memorial at www.kgm.rw and by following @Kigali_Memorial on Twitter and Instagram and liking the ‘Kigali Genocide Memorial’ Facebook page.