Highlights from Power Africa at Africa Energy Forum

Power Africa attended the Africa Energy Forum (AEF) to further advance its goal to increase energy access and power generation in sub-Saharan Africa. Through grant signings, facilitated events, and targeted meetings with government and private sector partners, Power Africa plans to further increase the number of transactions that have reached financial close. Currently, the 76 projects that have reached this status are expected to generate over 7,107 megawatts (MW) since the initiative’s 2013 launch.

“Power Africa and its partners have added 10.6 million connections, which means tens of millions of people have access to power who did not four years ago before we were established. We look forward to using the momentum from AEF to continue to transform the energy sector in Africa in 2017,” stated Power Africa Coordinator Andrew M. Herscowitz.

Key highlights from Power Africa’s engagement at AEF include:

Power Africa Transactions Reaching Financial Close or Operations since March:

●             Uganda: Hydro – Achwa 2 Hydropower Project: 42 MW

●             Tanzania: Hydro – Rusumo Hydropower Project: 80 MW

●             Uganda: Hydro – Muvumbe Hydropower Project: 6.5 MW

Partners making advances in competitive procurements across sub-Saharan Africa since March:

●             Malawi: Solar PV ESCOM Prequalified Bidder: JCM Capital

Power Africa and its partners have added 10.6 million connections, which means tens of millions of people have access to power who did not four years ago

●             Zambia: IFC Scaling Solar Round I: Enel signed a PPA at a record low $0.0784/kWh

●             Zambia: IFC Scaling Solar Round II Prequalified Bidders: Access Power, Ltd., Enel and Globaleq

New Power Africa Partners

●             Actis.  Actis is a leading investor in growth markets with over US$13bn raised since inception and a growing portfolio of investments across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Actis is Power Africa’s newest private sector partner. Actis’ energy business invests in buy-and-build power generation and distribution businesses. The opportunity is driven by market growth, scarcity of electricity supply in growth markets and demand for private investment. The funds have invested over US$2.1 billion in more than 31 companies across 25+ countries generating 15GW of energy capacity and directly impacted 68 million consumers. Power Africa and Actis look forward to building on their prior success, including Azura-Edo, a 450 MW natural gas project in Nigeria, under this new partnership.

Grant Signing & Approvals

●             USTDA grant signing. On June 8, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) awarded a grant of $746,200 to Standard Microgrid Initiatives Limited to fund a feasibility study to support the deployment of 150 microgrid units in Zambia, providing access to electricity for 22,500 households over the next four years and demonstrating the competitiveness of U.S. solar and storage technologies. The project is expected to serve as the first large-scale deployment of photovoltaic solar with storage microgrids in rural Zambia.

USTDA approves funding for three grants:

●             Madagascar Solar and Battery Storage Minigrid Project: USTDA granted funding to the Malagasy energy company Henri Fraise Fils & Cie (HFFC). It will conduct a feasibility study to evaluate the technical and economic viability of deploying solar photovoltaic-powered mini-grids with integrated battery storage at up to 100 sites across Madagascar. In partnership with the U.S. battery storage manufacturer Fluidic, Inc. , HFFC will install and operate a combined 10 megawatt peak of solar power generation and 87 megawatt hours of battery storage capacity, which could serve an estimated 27,600 households and businesses.

●             Zambia Wind Power Project: USTDA approved funding for a grant to Access Zambia Wind One Limited that will fund a feasibility study to evaluate the technical and economic viability and environmental and social impact of developing a 130-140 MW wind power project in Zambia.  The project would be Zambia’s first wind independent power production (IPP) project.

●             Zambia Geothermal Power Project: USTDA approved funding for a grant to Zambian company Kalahari GeoEnergy, to fund a feasibility study evaluating the technical and economic viability and environmental and social impact of developing a 10-20 MW geothermal power project in Zambia.  The project would be Zambia’s first geothermal power project.

Power Africa Events

●             Women in African Power Event. Power Africa’s Women in African Power and Trinity International,, LLP celebrated women’s contributions to Africa’s energy sector at a June 8 event.  The event featured keynote speaker, H.E. Honorable Irene Muloni, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development of Uganda.  The keynote address was followed by a panel of experts speaking to the Business Case for Gender Diversity in the Energy Sector, featuring  Sarah Dimson (Power Africa), Fransje Van der Marel (McKinsey), Ehi Obaseki and Angela Olanrewaju (Ibadan Electric Distribution Company) and Lisa Pinsley (Actis).

●             Access Co-Development Facility Award. On June 7, Andrew M. Herscowitz participated in a judging panel for an award through Power Africa partner Access Power Limited’s Co-Development Facility (ACF). Access Power awarded up to $7 million in co-development funding and support to the following winners:  Dobea Group Ltd (solar PV, Tanzania), Prime Energy Limited (run of river hydro, Rwanda), and Ghana Capital Partners (solar PV, Ghana).

Source: U.S. Department of State.

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