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BGFA Signs New Solar Mini-Grid Projects in Three African Countries

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growatt01-08-2022

Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA), the multi-donor facility established and managed by the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation, has signed four projects with off-grid energy providers in three African countries. The new round of financing will benefit Burkina Faso, Liberia, and Zambia by supporting the expansion of solar mini-grid connections and accessing improved solar home systems in these countries.

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With the addition of these new projects, the BGFA program has now contracted a total of ten projects, establishing at least 580,000 households and businesses in rural and peri-urban areas of these countries. BGFA has signed agreements with ARESS in Burkina Faso, Energicity Corporation in Liberia, and in Zambia it signed projects with Power Corner Zambia Ltd and Engie Energy Access Zambia.

In Burkina Faso, BGFA and solar home systems provider ARESS will supply electricity to nearly 20,000 households. The company will utilize its pay-as-you-go model in the solar home system segment to install lighting equipment, charge cellphones, and power TVs & refrigerators. ARESS will also connect its stand-alone solar-powered system to public and commercial facilities.

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The BGFA will finance a project to electrify 4,100 households, small businesses, and public service facilities in Liberia through its agreement with Energicity. The partnership will create a local subsidiary to install 30 solar PV mini-grids.

Zambia gets highly benefited from the BGFA’s new program. Both solar energy providers in the country are subsidiaries of Engie Energy Access. Power Corner will build 11 solar mini-grids of 100 kW capacity each by 2026. The solar mini-grids will use a cloud-based smart application enabling real-time payments. The project will generate more than 3,200 connections and provide electricity to more than 16,000 people.

Engie Energy Access Zambia has targeted electrification for 296,000 households through its solar home systems and benefits more than 1.5 million people. The company is receiving the second grant from the BGFA.

So far, BGFA has contracted ten projects from the first funding round, which was opened in 2020 in Burkina Faso, Liberia, and Zambia (BGFA1) with further projects undergoing a negotiation process. The second and third founding rounds opened in 2021 in Mozambique (BGFA2) and Uganda (BGFA3), respectively. A fourth funding round (BGFA4) was opened in the DRC in June this year.

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