Climate Investor One (CIO) has entered into a Development Funding Agreement with Empower New Energy (“Empower”) to develop 100 MW of solar PV for commercial & industrial (C&I) clients across 10 African countries.
Empower is establishing itself as a leading player in Africa by targeting solar investments in key focus countries such as Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and Nigeria, but also in Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Zambia. The countries were intentionally chosen due to high solar potential, a burgeoning energy demand, and a growing need for climate resilient infrastructure. The project creates an ideal fit to leverage CFM’s expertise due to similarities with past projects and high scalability potential.
In 2019, 78% of enterprises across Africa experienced power outages and 41% of firms identified electricity as a major constraint to their business operation, the highest of any region in the world. The need for reliable and clean energy in Africa, especially in consideration of suppressed demand due to lack of supply, demonstrates the urgency for such initiatives.
To address these challenges, the platform will provide renewable energy to 370,000 people, create 9,500 jobs (when the 100 MW will be converted), and take the equivalent of over 21,000 cars off the road in terms of emissions avoided. Empower New Energy has already established a global network of developer partnerships, pipeline projects, and identified off-takers who have demonstrated interest. Empower New Energy and CIO’s Development Fund have entered into a Development Funding Agreement with the view of creating an investment opportunity for CIO’s Construction Equity Fund currently estimated at US$ 50mln..
Terje Osmundsen, Empower’s CEO and founder conveyed: “CFM’s previous deal experience with C&I solar globally as well as African renewable projects in particular provides comfort to our partners and adds expertise to accelerate the roll out of our pipeline. With the platform covering diverse geographies, political environments, and market dynamics, we are confident that bringing Climate Investor One onboard will streamline development to achieve the far-reaching impact we both envision.”
Sebastian Surie, CFM’s Regional Head for the African region, added: “over the past few years, Empower have built a strong team and an impressive project pipeline. The partnership with Climate Investor One will allow Empower to leverage off our existing C&I expertise as well as access to the capital required to ramp up project execution. We are confident that this transaction lays a strong foundation for building a leader in the African renewable energy sector.”
About Empower New Energy:
Established in 2017, Empower has developed long-term partnerships with local developers to build a resilient pipeline of solar projects in each of the 10 countries. Empower has offices in Oslo and London and a local presence in Kenya (Nairobi), Ghana (Accra), Nigeria (Lagos) and Egypt (Cairo). Empower’s management team has over 40 years of experience working in investments, energy generation and distribution infrastructure, technology and is an emerging player in Africa’s renewable energy landscape.
About Climate Fund Managers (CFM):
CFM is a leading blended finance fund manager dedicated to securing a sustainable future through investing across global emerging markets. CFM has a long-term vision to structure cutting edge financing facilities around thematic areas of climate change mitigation and adaptation, including renewable energy, water and oceans, sustainable land use and sustainable cities. CFM is established as a joint venture between the Dutch development bank FMO and Sanlam InfraWorks – part of the Sanlam Group of South Africa.
Climate Investor One (CI1) is the inaugural facility managed by CFM, focused on providing capital to renewable energy projects in developing countries. CI1 has a focus on Africa, South & Southeast Asia, and Latin America, and uses a whole-of-life financing approach intended to reduce implementation timelines. The facility also enjoys support from the EU through its External Investment Plan, a part of its wider commitment to sustainable development and climate change mitigation, as well as cornerstone support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) and USAID’s Power Africa programme.