Access Energy Group and EREN RE are preparing to start the construction of East Africa’s largest solar project.

The $19 million, 10 MW photovoltaic (PV) project in Uganda is expected to be operational in July 2016. Work will get underway on the project in March, Access and EREN said in a statement.

Access Uganda Solar Limited, a partnership between Access Infra Africa and EREN RE, will build the solar plant in the town of Soroti, 300 km northeast of the Ugandan capital Kampala. Spain’s TSK Group has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract and will sub-contract parts of the work to local firms.

The site of the project was chosen because of the region’s low power generation capacity and the need to reduce transmission losses.

The project will be the largest privately-funded solar power plant in Sub-Saharan Africa, outside of South Africa, as well as the first grid-connected solar farm in Uganda.

The Soroti project is the first solar power plant successfully developed under the GET FiT Facility, a dedicated support scheme for renewable energy projects managed by Germany’s KfW Development Bank in partnership with the Government of Uganda through the country’s Electricity Regulatory Agency (ERA). The GET FiT solar facility is funded by the European Union Infrastructure Trust Fund, and the programme is also supported by the governments of Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom.

The project was financed by a mix of debt and equity with the senior debt facility being provided by FMO, the Netherlands development bank, and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF). The project reached financial close in record time, providing a successful and easily replicable case study of fast-track implementation of a renewable energy generation project conducted by private developers in Africa.