New Financing Model to Scale Solar Mini-Grid Energy Access in Sierra Leone

  • Following the successful commissioning of their Sierra Leone Mini grid project which has connected over 13,000 homes and businesses to clean energy, PIDG company InfraCo Africa and PowerGen Renewable Energy (PowerGen) have announced that they are collaborating to roll out further mini-grids in the country.

InfraCo Africa has committed up to US$1.2m to the new initiative which will form part of a wider programme in Sierra Leone by the Universal Energy Facility (UEF). The new project is expected to deliver circa 1,660 new connections across eight sites, providing first-time connections for homes and businesses.

Established to incentivise developers to increase the speed and scale at which clean energy access is achieved across sub-Saharan Africa, the UEF is a multi-donor results-based finance (RBF) facility managed by Sustainable Energy for All. It seeks to accelerate progress aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) and the Paris Agreement. The UEF is operating across a number of sub-Saharan countries. In this instance, the project will benefit from grant funding from the UEF on a per-connection basis.

InfraCo Africa and PowerGen have been working together in Sierra Leone since 2019, rolling out solar hybrid mini grids across the south and east of the country as part of the country-wide Rural Renewable Energy Project (REPP). As the RREP draws to a close, the Government of Sierra Leone remains committed to the country’s growing off-grid energy sector.

PowerGen and InfraCo Africa  will draw on their experience of delivering mini grids in rural and remote locations to high standards of health, safety, environmental and social governance, with the construction of the first UEF-supported sites expected to commence in March 2023.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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