October 30 (Renewables Now) - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will grant USD 6.3 million (EUR 5.4m) to companies providing off-grid power solutions in sub-Saharan Africa.
The awards were announced last week will enable companies installing home solar systems and microgrids to expand their businesses, scale innovations, test new business models and finance rural electrification. Awards for micro-grids will be financed under USAID's Development Innovation Ventures programme and Power Africa, while the home solar projects will be backed through USAID’s Scaling Off-Grid Energy (SOGE) Grand Challenge for Development and, again, Power Africa.
The list of awardees in the SOGE programme includes Solar Frontier Capital, which will launch a USD-100-million debt facility for solar installers in sub-Saharan Africa using the pay-as-you-go model, and SIMA Funds, which will support the work of distributors of off-grid solar power solutions with a USD-75-million debt facility. USAID will also provide support to Persistent Energy Capital, Mobisol, Baobab+ and Sunna Design.
In the micro-grid section, among the awardees is PowerGen, whose work is focused on the small-power distributor segment, and Powerhive, which will provide mini-grid-supplied renewable power to homes in Kenya. Devergy is also there with its concept of affordable, rapidly deployable, "living" micro-grids.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.861)