Power Africa Announces More Than $1 Billion in New Commitments at the US-Africa Business Forum

Three years after the launch of Power Africa, the United States is on track to fulfill its initial $7 billion commitment over five years

At the U.S. – Africa Business Forum, the U.S. Government and its Power Africa partners announced several new milestones across dozens of energy projects and transactions. These commitments —  totaling more than $1 billion worth of debt and finance– will advance deals that aim to provide access to electricity across sub-Saharan Africa.

Three years after the launch of Power Africa, the United States is on track to fulfill its initial $7 billion commitment over five years, and several departments and agencies have announced that they’ve expanded Power Africa commitments as detailed in the 2016 annual report. Power Africa partners, including African governments, multilateral and bilateral partners, and more than 130 private sector partners are helping to maximize our impact and accelerate private sector investment in renewable energy.

The U.S. Government’s initial $7 billion commitment has mobilized more than $52 billion in additional external commitments, including more than $40 billion in private sector commitments to invest in power generation and distribution across sub-Saharan Africa. Power Africa is tracking more than 500 deals across the continent. Many of these deals reached new milestones yesterday. Notable transactions include:


  • Power Multiple Infrastructure Projects: The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) committed $250 million in financing to Standard Bank for an innovative power and infrastructure facility, at least $150 million of which is dedicated to power projects in Africa. The facility will leverage the South African bank’s experience, knowledge and presence on the continent to originate critical infrastructure transactions. Standard Bank added $33 million from its own balance sheet and Wells Fargo contributed $50 million to the facility as well, making it the largest deal Wells Fargo has done in Africa.
  • Power Loan with Standard Chartered and PTA Bank: USAID, through Power Africa, intends to provide a loan guarantee in support of a $50 million loan from Standard Chartered Bank to The Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank). PTA Bank will use the funds from Standard Chartered to on-lend to power projects. Countries where funds could be on-lent include Burundi, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
  • Biotherm Expansion Power Africa partner, BioTherm secured 20 megawatts (MW) of solar projects in Ghana, 34MW of solar projects in Burkina Faso, 284MW of wind and solar in South Africa, which it expects to close $450 million worth of debt financing in the next month followed immediately by construction. BioTherm has also developed a pipeline of wind and solar projects across the continent totaling 314 MW, which it expects to bring into construction during the next 12-24 months.
  • Off-Grid Refrigeration Competition: The Global Light and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP) – in partnership with USAID’s U.S. Global Development Lab, Power Africa, and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development  – launched a joint call for high efficiency, low-cost off-grid refrigeration solutions. The competition will offer three innovation prizes, each worth $200,000, to reward advancements in off-grid refrigeration technology, while also recognizing best-in-class commercially available off-grid refrigerators.
  • Energy Entrepreneurs for the Off-Grid Energy: The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) announced 20 new $100,000 grants for African energy entrepreneurs in the newest round of the Off-Grid Energy Challenge. These winners are innovating, using renewable technologies from solar micro-grids to biogas, to bring electricity to rural communities living far from the national grid.


  • Gitaru Solar PV Plant: The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) signed a $1 million grant agreement with Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited (KenGen) to support the development of a 10 MW solar PV project that would be co-located with an existing KenGen-owned hydro plant. The project would be KenGen’s first utility scale solar asset.
  • Lamu Gas-to-Power Project: USTDA and Zarara Oil & Gas Limited signed a $996,600 grant agreement to evaluate the technical, economic and environmental aspects of the proposed Lamu gas-to-power project on Pate Island. The project will add 50-200 MW of new electricity generation capacity.
  • Isiolo Solar PV Power Plant: USTDA announced its intent to partner with Green Millennia Energy Ltd to develop the Isiolo 40 MW solar PV power plant in central Kenya. U.S. solar developer and PV manufacturer SunPower will conduct the $356,630 feasibility study and serve as the EPC contractor for the project.
  • Solar Microgrid Solutions for Island & Village Electrification: USTDA will partner with Renewable World East Africa, an energy access non-profit organization, to develop minigrid systems and battery storage at eight locations in Kenya with a combined 1.5 MW of new solar power generation capacity. The feasibility study – funded by a $600,000 USTDA grant – will be conducted by U.S. company Renewvia Energy Corporation. Successful implementation of the project would help to electrify an estimated 4,500 households and businesses.
  • Olkaria Geothermal Power Plant: USTDA will provide a $939,699 grant to Akiira Geothermal Limited to jointly assess the viability of a 70 MW geothermal power plant northwest of Nairobi. Successful implementation of the project would provide clean, baseload renewable power and support the Government of Kenya’s strategy to participate as a supplier in the regional power pool.
  • Nyakwere Hills Solar PV Plant: USTDA announced its intent to provide a $997,000 grant to Quaint Energy Kenya Ltd. to develop a 40 MW solar PV power plant. Successful implementation of the project would reduce or avoid tons of carbon dioxide per year as an alternative to fossil fuel power sources.


  • Nigeria Solar Capital Partners entered into a Joint Development Agreement with Globeleq Advisors Limited and the ARM-Harith Infrastructure Fund to fund and co-develop a $ 220 million, 100MW AC solar PV project in Bauchi State, Nigeria. The project has a signed 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading plc, and the parties anticipate reaching financial close in the summer of 2017. Nigeria Solar Capital Partners is a joint venture of Industry Capital and Gigawatt Global, a Power Africa partner.
  • Txtlight Power Solutions (Lumos) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) announced that it will be providing an additional $35 million in debt financing to this innovative distributed solar company that has partnered with the largest telecom company in Nigeria to distribute home solar and energy storage systems. OPIC has already disbursed on a $15 million loan.


  • The Government of Senegal and Black Rhino Group, a Power Africa Partner, signed a Memorandum Of Understanding for the development of a $300 million 200MW dual fuel power plant. The project will utilize readily available fuel in the short term to add capacity to the Senegalese grid, and will capitalize on recently discovered domestic natural gas resources in the long term. The power plant will help Senegal to reduce electricity prices while improving the reliability of the system, thus enhancing the competitiveness of local businesses.
  • OPIC is providing up to $250 million in financing and $70 million in reinsurance to Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye (Lekela Power) for the development, construction and operation of a 158-megawatt wind farm in Taiba N’Diaye, Senegal. Senegal suffers from a chronic deficit in electricity supply with regular power rationing and blackouts that adversely affect living conditions and economic development. This project will boost Senegal’s generation capacity by nearly a quarter and provide a critical foundation for Senegal’s power generation and sustainable energy growth plan. USAID provides ongoing transaction advisory services and training and capacity building for Senelec utility staff on renewable energy management and integration.
  • OPIC has committed an additional $53 million in financing and $23 million in insurance to ContourGlobal’s Cap des Biches project in Senegal for a 33 MW expansion project. This OPIC-supported project will provide efficient and reliable electricity to the Senegalese grid by adding a total of 85.9 MW generation capacity.


  • USTDA and Solar Era Holding Limited will partner to assess the viability of a 25 MW solar PV and solar-diesel hybrid power project near Bo, the second largest city in Sierra Leone. The feasibility study – supported by a $856,386 grant from USTDA – will provide Solar Era with a blueprint for implementing the first (5 MW PV) and second (20 MW hybrid) phase plants on a commercially and technically viable basis. This project would bring much-needed energy to Sierra Leone, where only 13 percent of the population currently has electricity access.


  • Urban Solar Farms: USTDA will fund a $810,000 feasibility study to assess the technical, financial and economic viability of – and develop a blueprint for – the execution of up to 200 MW of solar PV projects in urban areas across South Africa, with each project ranging in size from 5 to 30 MW. The grantee, SolarReserve South Africa (Proprietary) Limited, is a leading developer of utility-scale solar power projects in South Africa.
  • Natural Gas Project Planning Advisory Services: A $1,200,000 USTDA-funded project planning advisory facility will support the Government of South Africa’s plans to procure more than 3 GW of gas-fired power from independent power producers. It will also support the participation of U.S. companies in gas-to-power projects. The implementation of gas-fired power projects will increase access to affordable, reliable electricity while reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants associated with electricity generation in South Africa.

Clean Energy Project Preparation Advisory Services: USTDA will accelerate clean energy project development and financing across sub-Saharan Africa by supporting the efforts of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), South Africa’s largest development finance institution, to evaluate clean energy projects for financing support. This $1.3 million advisory services contract will expand on USTDA’s existing partnership with IDC to assess energy storage solutions that can stabilize and grow South Africa’s large renewable market.

Source: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

This entry was posted in Africa ECO, Kenya News, Nigeria News, Senegal News, South Africa News. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply