CrossBoundary and Engie to build US$60 million of mini-grids in Nigeria

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Engie Energy Access will provide O&M services for the mini-grids. Image: Engie Energy Access.

A new partnership between CrossBoundary Energy Access and Engie Energy Access plans to build a US$60 million portfolio of mini-grids that are expected to connect more than 150,000 people to electricity in Nigeria.

Under the agreement, mini-grids project financier CrossBoundary Energy Access will finance the development and construction activities of a pipeline of mini-grids from Engie that are expected to be built in the next four years.

Engie Energy Access, a mini-grids solutions provider in Africa, will then provide long-term operations and maintenance services for the mini-grids.

CrossBoundary Energy Access, which will own the projects, will provide the capital for the transaction alongside a grant from the World Bank.

Tessa Dignam, senior legal counsel at CrossBoundary, said the financing structure provides a framework for bringing even more private capital into the sector, adding: “This partnership demonstrates an innovative and flexible approach taken to advance renewable energy solutions in Africa.”

CrossBoundary Energy Access raised US$25 million in June to finance solar-powered mini-grids in Africa, securing the backing of ARCH Emerging Markets Partners, Bank of America and the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund.

Humphrey Wireko, managing director at CrossBoundary Energy Access, said the company is now looking to expand its project financing approach to other markets.

Also in Nigeria, solar EPC Sterling and Wilson recently signed an agreement with the country’s government to develop and construct a portfolio of 961MWp PV projects and battery energy storage systems with a total capacity of 455MWh.

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