Solar mini-grid provider, Weziza Benin, the subsidiary of Energy City group, has received an investment of US$1.4 million from Netherlands-based impact investor Oikocredit for implementing rural electrification project (REP) in Benin.
The project aims to connect 21 off-grid communities to a power grid. The whole financing for the project is provided by Oikocredit.
The rural communities in Collines, Couffo, and Zou departments will be primarily benefited from the solar mini-grid project. The project will directly impact the lives of 40,000 people from off-grid rural communities by providing them with clean, reliable, and affordable electricity solutions.
The rural electrification project has been selected in a competitive process by the Government of Benin and the Millennium Challenge Association Benin II to electrify the rural households through solar energy by June, this year.
Siebren Wilschut, Oikocredit’s Investment Manager, said, “Renewable energy mini-grids have enormous potential to meet the needs of millions of people currently experiencing energy poverty, to support productive uses of electricity, and to stimulate the development of rural communities. With Oikocredit’s support, Weziza Benin will continue to increase its social impact for the benefit of thousands of households.
Weziza Benin is also being funded by the Benin Rural Electrification and Energy Management Agency (ABERME) and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of the US government. In 2019, the solar mini-grid provider had committed to deploying 2 MWp of solar capacity to meet the growing electricity demand of the communities.
Oikocredit’s recent investment in the mini-grids will strengthen the solar power distribution in the West African country. Solar energy development will address the major issue of power deficit in the country, which is still dependent on its neighbors for energy needs.