Beyond the Grid Fund signs EUR 5 million finance deal for solar mini-grids in DRC

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  • The latest BGFA Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) agreement has been signed with Nuru Société par Actions Simplifée Unipersonnelle (Nuru SASU) to scale up the development of new mini-grids, or metro-grids as Nuru refers to them.
  • In total, up to EUR 5 million in results-based financing will be provided from BGFA to the project.
  • It is expected that the investment will mobilise EUR 28 million in additional co-financing over the coming four years.

Nuru SASU, which means light in Swahili, is a company focused on providing clean energy solutions in underserved peri-urban and urban communities in the DRC. The company deployed the country’s first commercial solar-based mini-grid in 2017. To date, Nuru has delivered over 7,700 MWh of energy through the deployment of four metro-grids.

“BGFA’s results-based financing has been instrumental in securing new equity and project financing to develop our new metro-grid in Bunia. Together, we will bring power to over 125,000 people and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 8,000 metric tonnes by the end of the project implementation. We are grateful to partner with BGFA, which recognises the significant energy gap in the DRC and the multi-decade transformation that Nuru’s renewable energy infrastructure can bring to the country in cities like Bunia,” says Jonathan E. Shaw, Co-Founder and CEO of Nuru.

The BGFA project will support the development and deployment of an 8 MW solar mini-grid in Bunia, the capital of the Ituri province in northeastern DRC. The project aims to power up to 10,500 residential, commercial and social institutions. One of the primary goals is to electrify and service at least 3,400 small and medium-sized businesses in the region. Additionally, the project will supply electricity to critical infrastructure and social institutions, such as telecom towers, water treatment and distribution services, schools and healthcare facilities. The mini-grid is expected to deliver up to 14,785 MWh annually, improving the lives of more than 125,000 people living in the community.

“By supporting Nuru to further develop and deploy mini-grids in the DRC, we are able to support the scale-up of electricity access to people living in peri-urban areas, thereby supporting social development, economic growth and the green transition in Northern DRC,” comments Aleksandra Reskalenko, Programme Officer at Nefco.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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