InfraCo Africa and Rural Village Energy Solutions (RVE.SOL) today signed a joint Shareholders Agreement committing a total of $8 million to support the scale up of RVE.SOL’s innovative multi-sector KUDURA Power East Africa (KPEA) business in Kenya. InfraCo Africa will become a 40% shareholder of KPEA.
InfraCo Africa’s CEO, Gilles Vaes said, “InfraCo Africa is committed to scaling up mini-grids as a commercially viable infrastructure class and we are delighted to partner with RVE.SOL on the KUDURA Mini-grid project. RVE.SOL is one of the leading mini-grid operators in sub-Saharan Africa and we are confident in their capacity to consolidate the sector in Kenya and East Africa. The project will not only expand access to clean, reliable solar power in rural areas but will pilot delivery of street lighting, water pumping and purification and appliance financing to ensure that communities and businesses can truly maximise the health, security and economic benefits of clean and renewable power.”
To date, RVE.SOL has established 20 operational mini-grids in the country. With support from InfraCo Africa, the project will build an additional 22 mini-grids across Busia County, in northwest Kenya. Incorporating battery back-up, the mini-grids will range in size from 10 – 60kWp, totalling 512kWp. A modular design enables the company to respond to changing electricity demand over time. The project will empower over 7,000 new rural electricity connections through a mix of densification of existing sites and addition of new mini-grids.
RVE.SOL’s CEO, Vivian Vendeirinho said, “As an early stage pioneer of the mini-grid business on the continent, we are committed to realising renewable mini-grids as the least-cost form of rural electrification resulting in transformational electrification rates. This partnership with InfraCo Africa, a leading infrastructure investor on the continent gives credence to mini-grids as an infrastructure investment, moving them into the mainstream for the accelerated achievement of SDG7.”
The project is supported by the Green Mini Grid facility Kenya (GMG Kenya), a programme implemented by Agence Française de Développement since 2016 and funded by UKAid and EU Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund. GMG Kenya provided investment support to KUDURA during the early years which resulted in 11 electrified villages and is now expanding the investment to another 22 villages.
This follow on investment is based on the successes in the early phases of the project and will serve rural households, local communities and public lighting in Busia county and contribute significantly to their socio economic development. The project recently secured US$235,000 of grant funding from PIDG Technical Assistance to support a variety of capacity building initiatives.
It is anticipated that the mini-grids will be installed by Q1 2022 with full commissioning expected byQ3 2022. By scaling KPEA’s innovative multi-sector approach to off-grid power, KUDURA mini-grid seeks to attract further private sector investment, demonstrating the added value of adopting a combined approach to the delivery of power, water, street lighting and appliance finance as a catalyst for sustainable rural development.
The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG): PIDG is an innovative infrastructure development and
finance organisation which encourages and mobilises private investment in pioneering infrastructure in the
frontier markets of sub-Saharan Africa and south and south-east Asia to promote economic development and
combat poverty. PIDG delivers its ambition in line with its values of opportunity, accountability, safety, integrity
and impact. Since 2002, PIDG has supported 157 infrastructure projects to financial close which provided an
estimated 209 million people with access to new or improved infrastructure. PIDG is funded by six governments
(the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Germany) and the IFC. For more information please visit: www.pidg.org
InfraCo Africa: InfraCo Africa is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG).InfraCo Africa seeks to alleviate poverty by mobilising private investment into high-quality infrastructure projects in subSaharan Africa’s poorest countries. It addresses the risks and costs of early-stage project development: funding teams of experienced developers and providing risk capital to those projects which need the financial
commitment and leverage that InfraCo Africa can bring. InfraCo Africa is funded by the governments of the
United Kingdom (through FCDO), the Netherlands (through DGIS) and Switzerland (through SECO). For more information please visit: www.infracoafrica.com.
Rural Village Energy Solutions (RVE.SOL ): RVE.SOL is a social entrepreneurship for profit, operating as a green
mini-grid (GMG) developer deploying and operating Rural Energy Solutions. Over the last five years, RVE.SOL has
developed a unique, customisable GMG-based energy access solution to rural development, integrating
affordable water and energy access, mobile payment and metering and empowering entrepreneurial businesses
for the eradication of rural poverty in Africa. For more information please visit: https://www.rvesol.com/rvesol/
Green Mini-grid facility Kenya: The Green Mini-Grid Facility Kenya (GMG Facility Kenya) was conceived and
funded in 2016 by UK’s DFID (now FCDO). The programme provides grants and technical assistance to promote
mini-grid development in Kenya through the private sector. The GMG Facility secured additional funding from
the European Union – Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund in 2018. The Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
is the implementing partner of the facility. AFD has strong regional experience in managing programmes aimed
at promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency. AFD contract Innovation Energie Development (IED), a
French Consultancy company to lead GMG’s Managing Entity. IED is responsible for the implementation of the
Facility in partnership with I-DEV and Practical Action Consulting (PAC).