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Access Power’s renewable energy competition begins

Three projects will be selected onstage at the Africa Energy Forum in June for funding and development assistance.

Submissions have opened for a renewable energy development competition that will provide funding and technical expertise for projects in Africa.

Emerging markets developer Access Power has launched its third annual Access Co-Development Facility (ACF) competition, calling for local companies in Africa to submit proposals for renewable energy projects that need to be built but lack funding.

ACF provides $7 million to a handful of qualified projects in Africa every year. Shortlisted projects are presented onstage at the Africa Energy Forum, this year held in Copenhagen, and the winners are announced after.

Three finalists will be chosen to enter into joint development agreement discussions with Access Power, which said it would take an equity stake in these projects, provide technical expertise and assist with further fundraising.

The submission period ends in May, and winners will be chosen on 7 June.

“This is a chance to shine a spotlight on ideas and showcase talent,” Access Power executive chairman Reda El Chaar said. “We are delighted to see the competition develop as word spreads about the possibilities it can bring.”

Last year, Access reported a 75 percent increase in applicants from its inaugural competition, with 96 proposals submitted from 25 countries. The three projects that won included a 50MW wind project in Nigeria, a 25MW solar project in Sierra Leone and a 25MW hybrid solar and hydro plant in Madagascar.

Access Power is an emerging market renewable energy specialist and has $1 billion of projects in development across Africa and Asia, it said in a statement.

The company has recently helped build Uganda’s first utility-scale solar project, a 10MW facility that cost $19 million.