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Climate Fund Managers (CFM), a leading climate-centric blended finance fund manager has been awarded “Deal of the Year for Africa” in the IJGlobal Awards 2023 for its investment in Norwegian renewable energy firm, Release by Scatec.

The deal was named Deal of the Year for Africa in the category “Catalysing Investment into Renewables – Innovation of the Year, Africa” at the awards ceremony, which took place in London last week. The IJ Global Awards celebrate the sector’s best greenfield infrastructure and energy achievements internationally.

CFM invested USD 102 million in Release, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scatec ASA, in October 2023 via its Climate Investor One (CIO) fund; an EU-supported blended finance facility focused on renewable energy infrastructure in emerging markets. CFM is contributing USD 55 million in equity for a 32% stake in Release. Scatec will retain the majority shareholding of 68%. CFM will also provide shareholder loans totalling USD 47 million, part of which will be on concessional terms.

Darron Johnson, Head of Investment Africa at CFM said: “Attaining net zero by 2050 demands innovation on a global scale. We are proud to support Release, an innovative climate solution that can help bridge Africa’s energy gap by providing solar power to key sectors of the economy, where the primary energy alternatives are limited to fossil fuel sources.”

“Release is a highly innovative solar tech business that enables the mining and utility sectors to overcome cost barriers and transition to renewable energy generation. Its pre-assembled, modular solar power plants and battery energy storage systems are quick to install, cost-effective and flexible, with lease agreements available on a short or long-term basis. We are delighted that our investment in Release has been recognized by IJ Global and look forward to supporting the Release team as they roll out their critical climate technology across Africa,” Johnson continued.

The investment will be used to roll out Release’s innovative solar PV and battery solutions to power utilities and mining companies across Africa, reducing energy costs, strengthening energy security, and helping decarbonize generation by replacing traditional diesel and heavy fuel oil or coal-fired generation solutions.