SunFunder has started investing in the mini-grid sector. We have launched a new $1.2m facility with mini-grid developer PowerGen in Kenya. This is a key step for the sector because it marks the first debt financing that SunFunder has provided for a mini-grid project.
The result will be grid-quality electricity delivered to 2,400 households through the construction of 20 mini-grids on a tea estate in Kenya. The project comprises 242kW of installed solar capacity and 1.25MWh of battery storage.
SunFunder has engaged with mini-grid companies as the sector developed to find ways to support their business models. As Andrew Githaiga, who led the deal for SunFunder, puts it:
“We are very excited to be working with PowerGen. This transaction enables us to better understand mini-grid developers and how best to cater for their funding requirements going forward.”
PowerGen has been delivering renewable energy systems throughout East Africa for the last 8 years and have become experts in integrating solar, battery storage and diesel generators along with control systems to create sustainable, cost-effective energy solutions.
“We are very happy to have kicked off an important relationship with SunFunder. Their role as a flexible short- and long-term debt provider will become increasingly important as our sector reaches larger scale through SMART RBF programs supported by multilateral organizations and national governments,” said Tobias Dekkers, Senior Manager of Commercial Development at PowerGen.
As the mini-grid sector begins to scale, SunFunder sees a significant long-term opportunity to provide funding to both projects and developers. We see our flexibility and structuring expertise as core aspects of the value that we offer to companies as they engage with public investment and RBF programs in the years ahead.