Crossboundary Energy Access (CBEA), a Kenya-based mini-grid infrastructure fund, has raised $25 million in funding from ARCH Emerging Markets Partners Limited, Bank of America, and the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund to support renewable energy projects across Africa.
It was announced that the new money will free up $25 million in senior debt for CBEA, a subsidiary of investment firm Crossboundary, to assist it seeks $50 million in funding for solar-powered mini-grids in the near future.
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The Rockefeller Foundation, Ceniarth, DOEN Foundation, Shell Foundation, and UK Aid provided initial funding for the fund, which was established in 2019 and expects to invest $150 million in solar projects over the next two years.
“This is a critical step for CrossBoundary Energy Access towards unlocking the private and public financing needed to develop the mini-grid industry,” said Humphrey Wireko, managing director of CrossBoundary Energy Access. We’re excited to mobilize this capital to bring the projects in our pipeline to reality, and to provide power to African homes and businesses via these distributed renewable assets.”
75 percent of the world’s population lives in Sub-Saharan Africa, which lacks access to power. South Sudan, Burundi, Chad, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, and Tanzania are among the world’s least electrified countries and might benefit from sustainable energy sources such as solar and wind.
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“We believe that distributed renewables, including mini-grids, are a critical component of Africa’s energy future, and CrossBoundary Energy Access has developed a thoughtful, blended approach to the challenge of unlocking capital for the sector,” said William Barry, managing director of ARCH Emerging Markets Partners Limited’s Africa Renewable Power Fund (ARCH ARRF). At ARCH ARPF, we want to work with strong management teams and invest in scalable business models that provide clients with appealing options. We’re looking forward to assisting them in their growth.”
Topec, SolarAfrica, PowerGen, Centennial, solarcentury, and soventix, among others, have cooperated with the CBEA to install various solar mini-grids in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Rwanda.