We are delighted to announce that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has committed $25 million to the Solar Energy Transformation (“SET”) Fund. OPIC’s investment consists of both junior and senior tranches, which will help catalyze private capital and impact-focused investors to achieve a target fund size of $85 million.
The SET Fund — SunFunder’s eighth and largest debt facility — will hold its first close in the coming months. As a 9-year fund it will extend the range of financing that SunFunder already provides to the beyond grid solar sector.
“OPIC’s innovative participation in both the senior and subordinated tranches is highly catalytic for the energy access industry,” said Audrey Desiderato, SunFunder co-founder and COO. “Their commitment is key to unlocking private capital into the SET Fund, which will enable SunFunder to more rapidly meet solar companies’ growing demand for debt capital. This includes commercial and industrial projects that require longer tenor five- to seven-year funding.”
9-year DEBT FUND
The commitment demonstrates the successful long-standing relationship that SunFunder has developed with OPIC, the US development finance institution. OPIC previously committed $15 million in financing and $10 million in political risk insurance to another fund managed by SunFunder, the Beyond the Grid Solar Fund.
“OPIC’s support of this project advances several agency priorities,” said Ray W. Washburne, OPIC President and CEO. “In addition to supporting projects that improve lives of poor people in developing countries, OPIC, through the 2X Women’s Initiative, is committed to supporting women-owned and women-led businesses like SunFunder.”
We project that the SET Fund will make individual loans to more than 50 off-grid solar companies located in Africa and Asia, which in turn will enable more than three million people to gain access to clean, affordable energy and lighting.
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