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Access Power and EREN Renewable Energy have announced the winners of the 2017 Access Co-Development Facility (ACF), valued at $7 million. The ACF is a funding and support platform for renewable energy projects in Africa, and the winning projects will enter into Joint Development Agreements with Access Power, who will take an equity stake.

Millions for renewable projectsThe winners were selected from a technologically and geographically diverse pool of 82 entrants from 23 countries. The successful entries came from Tanzania for the 30MW Kondoa solar PV project, Rwanda for the 9.7MW Rukarara hydro project and Ghana for the 48MW Winneba wind project. When completed, the projects will collectively provide over 85MW of electricity.

The winning entries were decided based on the commercial, technical and environmental merits of the projects, as well as the local regulatory environment and capability of the project teams. They will share the $7 million pot as well as technical support and expertise from Access Power and EREN Renewable Energy.

In addition to the prize money, the winning teams will be able to leverage Access Power’s organisational, financial and technical knowledge, as well as access to its network. They will also receive assistance with the funding of third-party development costs including feasibility studies, grid studies, environmental and social impact assessments and due diligence fees.

This year’s competition was notable for the dominance of solar, Access Power said in a statement announcing the winners. Just under half of this year’s entries and three of the five shortlisted projects fell under this category, and there were a high number of applications from countries with low levels of electrification. Of the 23 countries who entered, 18 have electrification rates below 30%. This year’s entrants also highlighted the rise of East and West Africa as hotspots for renewable energy development, with nearly 80% of all applicants hailing from both sides of the continent, the company said.

“We are very excited to begin working with the winners in partnership with EREN and help bring their projects to fruition. Each of these projects has the power to dramatically improve the lives of the communities around these renewable energy facilities,” says Reda El Chaar, Executive Chairman of Access Power. “By partnering with us, these local entrepreneurs will gain access to not only our pot of $7 million but also our network of contacts and technical experts, underlining the unique nature of the ACF in creating a clear route to market.”

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