Five projects vie for Access Power competition funding

The projects shortlisted in the third annual Access Co-Development Facility range from a 7MW solar project in Zimbabwe to a 9.7MW hydro facility in Rwanda.

Emerging markets developer Access Power has shortlisted five clean energy project proposals vying for sponsorship through the Access Co-Development Facility competition.

The five projects participating in the third annual clean energy development competition were chosen from 82 proposals submitted earlier this year. Those that qualified for the final round will present their proposals to representatives sponsoring the competition including Power Africa, InfraCo Africa, Proparco, the Dutch Development Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation and Access Power on stage at the at the Africa Energy Forum on 7 June in Copenhagen.

The five projects include two 75MW solar projects, one in Zimbabwe and one in Ethiopia, a 48MW wind project in Ghana, a 40MW solar project in Tanzania and a 9.7MW hydroelectric project in Rwanda.

Up to three winners will be selected to share a $7 million prize that serves as a seed investment to start development. The finalists will enter into joint development agreement discussions with Access Power and EREN Renewable Energy, which said it would take a majority equity stake in these projects, provide technical expertise and assist with further fundraising.

“This year’s applications reflect the changing renewable energy landscape across the continent,” said Vahid Fotuhi, Access Power’s managing director. “It is no coincidence that many of this year’s applications have come from countries with low [rural] electrification rates and increasing support for driving access to power across Africa further highlights the value of the programme.”

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