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CEI Africa Drives Energy Access in Sub-Saharan Africa with $5.6 Million in Green Mini-Grid Grant

Stichting Clean Energy and Energy Inclusion for Africa (CEI Africa) is illuminating the path towards a brighter future for underserved communities across Sub-Saharan Africa. Today, the organization announced its intention to award a total of USD 5.6 million in results-based financing (RBF) grants to three green mini-grid (GMG) developers: OnePower, KUDURA, and EP. These grants will unlock approximately 10,221 green mini-grid connections, bringing clean and reliable electricity to residents of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Benin, and northern Kenya.

Powering Diverse Communities with Green Mini-Grids

  • Expanding Benin’s Energy Landscape: OnePower (1PWR), a leader in solar minigrid development, received an RBF grant of up to USD 672,000 to establish 1,120 connections in Kotokpa and Aglamidjodji, Benin. Building on the success of their initial projects, OnePower plans to construct a large-scale portfolio of 68 minigrids across Benin. Beyond household electrification, these projects aim to enhance critical services at educational and healthcare facilities, while boosting the productivity of women-owned businesses.
  • Championing Electrification for All in Turkana County: KUDURA Power East Africa Ltd (KUDURA) secured an RBF grant of up to USD 2.8 million to illuminate the lives of 5,600 residents in Turkana County, Kenya. This expansion builds upon KUDURA’s successful presence of 11 GMG sites serving over 4,000 customers in Busia County. In Turkana, KUDURA is constructing another 21 mini-grids, co-funded by RVE.SOL S.A. (Portugal) and InfraCo Africa (UK). According to KUDURA Founder Vivian Vendeirinho, the developer seeks to “accelerate progress towards meeting the Turkana County Government’s rural electrification goals,” while also extending a critical lifeline – reliable, affordable electricity – to the Kakuma Refugee Camp.
  • Empowering a Remote Town in the DRC: EP, a pioneering decentralized energy infrastructure company, received an RBF grant of up to USD 2.1 million to unlock 3,501 connections in Bulungu, DRC. This project will install a 400 kWp solar PV and 1,000 kWh battery system, aiming to unlock the potential of Bulungu, a remote town of 140,000 inhabitants heavily reliant on farming and fishing for livelihoods. Currently lacking reliable energy sources, EP’s project promises to provide uninterrupted power to homes, the town’s sole hospital, a large water pump, and small milling activities. Dario Fallara, CEO of EP Assetco DRC, emphasized their enthusiasm to “meet the massive demand for reliable and affordable energy in Bulungu.”

 

CEI Africa has allocated EUR 21 million to support project developers financing GMGs through RBF, along with technical assistance. This latest round of RBF funding expands CEI Africa’s support to include Mali, DRC, and Benin. With additional funding anticipated in 2024, further expansion is planned for Sierra Leone, Madagascar, and other countries.

The three RBF grant awards are pursuant to fulfillment of certain conditions precedent agreed to between CEI Africa, OnePower, KUDURA and EP, respectively. The RBF grant funding will be disbursed upon completion of new electricity connections.

For more information, contact: info@cei-africa.com.

 

About CEI Africa

CEI Africa was established by the German development finance institution KfW on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in 2021 to improve access to energy for rural and peri-urban households and enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa. CEI Africa is managed by Triple Jump B.V.Persistent, and GreenMax Capital Group. It is a one-stop shop for mini-grid developers and other off-grid energy companies, offering a variety of financing instruments. The implementation of the Foundation’s Crowdlending window, which provides debt and investment products in collaboration with European Crowdlenders, is led by Persistent. CEI Africa has allocated EUR 28M to support off-grid energy companies and mini-grid project developers through co-financing with Crowdlenders, including the provision of Technical Assistance. GreenMax manages the Results-based and impact-based financing window, offering results-based financing grants and forgivable loans. 

About OnePower

OnePower (1PWR) is a leader in solar minigrid development, bringing clean and affordable electricity to underserved communities. They boast a well-established presence in Lesotho and a growing portfolio in Benin. OnePower’s expansion plans aim to electrify 68 communities, impacting over 100,000 people. 

About KUDURA Power East Africa Ltd

KUDURA Power East Africa Ltd (KUDURA) is a social-for-profit minigrid developer operating in rural East Africa. Their mission extends beyond simply providing electricity. KUDURA offers a multi-utility service model, transforming economies and lifestyles through access to clean, reliable energy. With operations in Busia and Turkana counties, KUDURA is on track to serve over 30,000 metered consumers by 2026. 

About EP Assetco DRC

EP Assetco DRC, a joint venture between Equatorial Power, a next-generation developer and operator of decentralized renewable energy (DRE) infrastructure, and Infraco Africa, a developer of infrastructure projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, is committed to co-developing, building, and operating isolated hybrid solar systems across the DRC. Their innovative business model focuses on the productive use of electricity to empower communities.

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