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Distributed Generation, Mini-Grid and Off-Grid Funding/Investment Opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa

GreenMax has been retained by the companies described here to raise concessional funding, equity investment and organize debt facilities to support the development of a wide variety of distributed generation projects, ranging from stand-alone solar–battery systems serving universities or industrial parks to community mini/micro-grids with anchor industrial or commercial customer loads to solar home system or clean cooking PayG platforms. We invite you to review these opportunities and contact GreenMax for further information.
GreenMax is the leading Transaction Advisor for clean energy projects in Africa. In addition to these off-grid companies, we presently support more than 20 utility scale projects seeking funding. GreenMax provides a full suite of advisory services to assist developers and investors to cultivate bankable renewable energy projects and enterprises.
March 2019

Clifford J. Aron, President, GreenMax Capital Advisors

TOPSTEP Solutions – Solar Grain Mills for Rural Communities in Nigeria.
Topstep is a renewable energy solution provider with offices in Kaduna and Lagos, Nigeria. Topstep is an innovator in deployment of solar power for agricultural productive use. The company has launched an ambitious solar powered milling initiative across the multiple communities in Kaduna and Kano. After initially offering solarized grain mills on a leased basis to rural communities, Topstep realized that farmers were severely challenged to market and sell the new maize flour. The Topstep team then transformed their approach into a milling and distribution business, whereby the local residents sell their raw maize to Topstep and are employed as operators for a Topstep owned solar grain mill installed in the community.
At start of 2019, Topstep retained GreenMax as financial advisors to raise funds for the expansion of the solar grain milling business activity.

Solar Mini-Grid Project Development, Nigeria.
Havenill Synergy Ltd is a Nigerian solar energy company which is setting up solar mini-grids to provide rural communities with independent power plant electricity stations. Using micro-grid inverters, battery banks, charge controllers, PV panels and other accessories, the mini grids are sized from 20KW – 200KW and have the capacity to provide power to a minimum of 150 households and more depending on size of the system. Havenhill’s pilot installation was completed last year in Kgbe community in the Kwali Local Government area at Abuja.
Havenhill now plans to ramp up its mini grid development with 20-30 new sites, in conjunction with partial grant funding programs offered by Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency.

Solynta Stand Alone Solar PV, Nigeria.
Solynta is a fast-growing distributed energy company providing solar energy power solutions to under-served urban customers in Nigeria, with the aim to displace the country’s estimated 60 million fossil-fuel generators. Solynta provides new access to reliable, clean, affordable solar energy to households and commercial entities in Nigeria via innovative lease finance offerings also known as Lease-to-own (LTO), which allows customers to make affordable monthly instalment payments instead of upfront lump-sum payments. The lease finance offerings consist of 2-year, 5-year, and 10-year LTO plans, with the 10-year (PAYG) plan accounting for 51% of Solynta’s current business portfolio. Solynta has successfully deployed over 420 solar systems ranging from 0.5KW to 10KW systems across Nigeria with a total installed capacity of over 1MW and has developed a growth plan for high market penetration by the year 2023.
Solynta’s target customers typically receive sporadic grid power supply and hence often rely on unsafe, expensive fossil-fuel generators, due to hugely inadequate and underdeveloped grid infrastructure. Solynta secures 3 - 4 additional orders every week and has a strong pipeline of PAYG projects to install about 27,000 solar power systems for which contract award letters have been secured from the customers totalling 45MW in aggregate capacity.
These projects will eliminate the use of on-site diesel generators and save customers approximately 50% of their current monthly energy costs.

Bishop Okullo College 2MW Floating Solar PV Project, Kenya.
Asembo Community Development Company, Ltd., is developing a 2MW floating solar PV power generating plant to be located on Lake Victoria adjacent to Bishop Okullu College in Asembo, Siaya County, Kenya, which will deliver power to the college and adjacent manufacturing facilities. It is likely that, although a proven technology, the project will be the first floating solar project in continental Sub-Saharan Africa and will encourage the development of similar projects in Africa utilizing US technology.
The 2MW floating solar project will be built on Lake Victoria, adjacent to Bishop Okullu College. The project is being planned as an off-grid project, but would be converted to a net-metered project once Kenyan Power & Lighting Company (KPLC) implements the program (we are engaged in discussions with KPLC about the project being a model for its net-metered program). Bathymetric studies conducted by Dr. Stuart Hamilton, [Assistant Professor, Salisbury University, Maryland], have confirmed the suitability of the site for a 2 MW floating solar project. C+P has received a proposal from Ciel et Terre, a leading developer of floating solar technology located in Petaluma California, to provide the floating solar technology for the project.
The floating solar project is the anchor for a development plan for the Asembo region which is being implemented by Asembo Holdings. Asembo Holdings is constructing a fingerling hatchery on 100 acres owned by the community which will support fish cage farms, also owned by members of the local community, which is intended to reintroduce native fish species to Lake Victoria and revitalize the local fishing industry. Also included in the development plan would be a water filtration plant and bottling line (replacing plastic containers with cardboard), and the revitalization of idled irrigation pump due to the high cost of diesel. The development plan has the support of the local community and government leaders.

Kwara State Mini Grids, Nigeria.
Solar Era Nigeria Limited (SEN) – a subsidiary of Africa Growth & Energy Solutions (AGES) – is currently co-developing a series of Solar mini-grid projects across rural communities in Kwara State with Harmony Holdings Ltd (HHL), a wholly owned company of Kwara State Government. The first phase of the mini-grid projects are planned to be 15 KW capacity micro-grid systems in 20 off-grid communities, adding up to an aggregate capacity of 300KW installations.

Bzisol-CIKAR 1MW solar PV mini grid at the CIKAR palm oil factory.
Bzisol has partnered with the CIKAR Palm Oil Company in Burundi to develop up to 1MW of solar PV that will supply all electricity to the CIKAR palm oil processing facility and provide its excess power either to the community as a micro-grid. Bzisol is a Swedish company founded by Burundian expatriates, which works to develop and implement small scale renewable energy projects in Africa. In addition to the CIKAR project, they have secured AECF REACT funding for pico solar distribution in Zambia and Malawi. CIKAR is a few year old palm oil producer which relies exclusively on palm supplied from a network of small farm-holders in Burundi. They have applied for and expect to receive Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification.

PAY-GO Energy Clean Cooking Fuel Project, Kenya.
PayGo Energy Ltd (“PayGo”) has developed a smart metering technology to introduce a pay-as-you-go service for clean cooking LPG fuel in Kenya, which will unlock access to clean cooking fuel for millions of households in Kenya and across East Africa. In Kenya where 75% of use expensive, unhealthy and unsustainable charcoal and kerosene fuels for cooking, low income Kenyans, those earning less than $100 a month, rely almost exclusively on these dirty energy sources for cooking. PayGo’s innovative technology makes clean coking fuel affordable by eliminating households’ upfront LPG Fuel cost and investment necessary to procure new appliances. In 2014 PayGo conducted a pilot project, offering services to 1,400 households in Mukuru and Kibera, the two largest slums in Nairobi. The results were positive and PayGo is now planning to scale up service with 500,000 LPG cylinders and stoves. Currently, PayGo is in the process of obtaining a license to distribute LPG cylinders from the Kenyan Energy Regulatory Commission.

Rubitec Solar Mini Grids, Nigeria.
Rubitec Solar is a mini-grid project developer in Nigeria that is developing a series of 10 mini-grids with the capacity of 100KW each in Ogun State. Rubitec completed its first project mini-grid project in Feb. 2018; an 85KW Solar hybrid with battery storage system in Gbamu Gbamu community in Ogun State which is currently serving about 500 households in the community. Rubitec has identified the 10 new sites using GIS data and is presently verifying the data in these sites.
Rubitec utilizes for its mini-grids, solar PV-diesel hybrid with battery storage technology and a pre-paid metering system technology.
Rubitec will own and operate both the power production systems (movable asset) and the micro-grids (immovable asset) and will sell electricity to households and commercial customers. To make for a sustainable business plan, Rubitec focuses on deploying these mini-grids in locations with small scale productive use customers such as for Milling facilities, educational facilities and shops etc.
The 10 new solar hybrid mini-grid projects are expected to cost a total of about $5.5 million USD which corresponds to about $550k per mini-grid.

1 MW Solar PV Project & Telecom Mini-Grid Rollout, Cameroon.
Solar Era Cameroon (“SEC”) is developing a series of mini-grid projects with the plan to light up Cameroon with mini-grids powered by solar PV with battery storage systems. SEC has adopted a phased development approach, with the first phase being a total capacity of up to 20MWp, consisting of 20 independent 1MW maximum capacity mini-grid systems in 20 council districts in Cameroon, SEC has started with Konye and Fundong councils by signing MOUs with the local authorities. SEC has also signed MOUs with the government of Cameroon.
For the first project in Konye council, SEC has completed a pre-feasibility study and secured land for the project. The project is expected to provide energy to 2,500 households, or 20,000 people, to power their appliances from lights to refrigerators. SEC is working with the government to obtain a sovereign guarantee. SEC plans to complete the first 1MW project in Konye and then roll out implementation of the other 19 mini-grids.
In addition to supporting the rollout of the Konye project, SEC is developing a large-scale model of solar mini-grids to supply off-grid power to 200 telecom towers throughout the country operated by CAMTEL. Currently, SEH is launching a pilot installation of a community micro-grid anchored by a cellular tower electric load, as a “proof of concept” for this business model.
SEC is a subsidiary of Africa Growth & Energy Solutions (AGES) which is a micro multi-national company, incorporated in the UK, developing renewable projects across west Africa, with offices in London, Freetown and Douala.

Rensource Distributed Solar PV, Nigeria.
Rensource is a fast-growing distributed energy company providing innovative solar solutions and financing to consumers and small businesses in urban/peri-urban Nigeria thereby bridging the wide electricity demand-grid supply gap. Rensource aims to replace individual fossil-fuel generators across Nigeria on a large scale with distributed solar assets in the 300W-3kW capacity range via a scalable Power-as-a-Service model, whereby solar systems are installed at customers’ premises but owned and maintained by Rensource for a monthly subscription fee. Rensource’s systems are remotely controlled/monitored via Machine-to-Machine bidirectional communication over GPRS and feature a unique and innovative German-built lithium-lead hybrid storage technology, which stands out in that it combines superb lithium system performance with low lead-acid system costs. This is coupled with in-built intelligent load management capability which enables customers to make the most of the energy generated by the solar panels, thereby providing them with a service that cannot be matched by any competitor.
The company was incorporated in Nigeria in February 2016 and has since successfully deployed about 300 of its 300Wp solar systems (“The SunnyGo") bundled with DC appliances (LED lights, a fan and a TV) to underserved lower/middle income residential consumers/small businesses in Lagos, Ondo, Ekiti, Abuja, Niger, Oyo and Kano states replacing the so called “I-better-pass-my-neighbor” generators. Rensource aims to have an installed base of 15,000 systems by 2020, growing to 340,000 systems by 2027 .

50 MW Solar Mini-Grids Portfolio, Jigawa State, Nigeria.
Trust Synergy Infrastructures Limited (TSIL) is a renewable energy developer based in Kano, Nigeria. TSIL currently has a pipeline consisting of over 50 MW of off-grid renewable energy projects - comprising of a solar PV plant for Kano Economic City (KEC); two captive solar PV plants for the Bompai and Sharada Challawa Industrial Districts in Kano in partnership with the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria Power Development Company; a captive solar PV plant for Kano State University of Science and Technology.
Kano Economic City (KEC) is a 117-hectare ultra-modern market along Zaria Road, Kano being developed by Brains & Hammers under a Joint Venture Agreement with the Kano State Government signed on the 12th of December 2016. The KEC, which will house over 10,000 shops and stalls is planned to be implemented in 3 phases over 5 – 7 years and will be completely off-grid. TSIL is currently in negotiations with Brains & Hammers to provide a ground mounted 10MW solar PV plant to power the KEC.

Production of liquefied C02 and mini-grid power from maize stover, Ghana.
Arela Chemicals is pioneering the sustainable production of food grade liquefied carbon dioxide for local beverage makers in Ghana. Liquefied CO2 will be produced in a manufacturing plant by upgrading biogas generated by the anaerobic digestion of locally sourced maize stover, thus improving the sustainability and profitability of maize farmers as well as carbonated beverage producers. This biogas will also be used to generate 100% of the plant’s electricity demand, thereby enabling off-grid operation as well as for generation of electricity to the neighbouring communities through a mini-grid. Roughly 1MW is expected to be available to supply the community mini grids.
Excess methane can also be compressed and sold as an additional revenue stream. This production approach enables Arela to eliminate high costs and unreliable supply of electricity while reducing the carbon footprint of its operations. These savings are passed onto the beverage makers by providing them with an up to 50% discount on their liquefied CO2 costs. The venture will generate EBTIDA margins of up to 44% over an eight-year period from startup. Arela has signed feed-stock supply MOU agreements with over 228 maize farmers which includes both small-holder and commercial farmers, to supply the maize Stover required for the project in exchange for supply of organic fertilizers which will be a by-product of the plant. Arela is in the process of finalizing the land arrangements to secure the land for the facility as well as negotiating the final off take agreement with two beverage manufacturers in Ghana who will buy the CO2 from the project. Arela’s strategy of sourcing maize stover also improves the profitability of maize farmers by increasing their crop yield by simply clearing the stover from the field instead of the in-situ burning of residue to clear fields for subsequent planting which compromises soil nutrition by depleting valuable nitrogen and increasing acidity over time. Additionally, we provide farmers with reliable access to a nutrient-rich organic fertilizer that is produced as a byproduct of the anaerobic digestion process.

Utility-Scale Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa Current Funding/Investment Opportunities

GreenMax has been retained by the companies described here to raise concessional funding and/or equity investment and organize debt facilities to support the development of a wide variety of on-grid power projects, ranging from solar PV farms to gas-fired combined cycle projects. We invite you to review these current opportunities and contact GreenMax for further information. Every month, our mix of current investment opportunities evolves, so we invite you to stay in close touch with our team.
GreenMax is the leading Transaction Advisor for energy projects in Africa. In addition to these on-grid projects, we also support distributed generation projects, ranging from stand-alone solar–battery systems serving universities to community mini / micro-grids with anchor industrial or commercial customer loads and solar home systems or clean cooking pay-as-you-go platforms. GreenMax provides a full suite of advisory services to assist developers and investors to cultivate bankable renewable energy projects and enterprises.
October 2018

Contact Clifford J. Aron (e-mail:

25 MW Solar-Diesel Hybrid Project in Sierra Leone.
In Sierra Leone, Solar Era Holding (SEH) is developing a 25 MW Solar project in two phases. Phase I of the project consists of a 5MW Solar PV plant, while Phase II is a 20 MW Solar PV plant that is being explored to include a storage or hybrid solution. SEH has signed a 20 year PPA with the Government of Sierra Leone and the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA). SEH has also signed an Implementation Agreement with the Government and the project has secured a Passage of Government Motion from the Sierra Leone Parliament, ratifying the PPA and Implementation Agreements between Solar Era Holdings and EDSA to undertake the 5 MW generation project (phase I) with possibility to extend an extra 20 MW (Phase II).
GreenMax has secured a joint-development agreement for SEH with a well-respected, DFI funded, renewable energy investment fund/developer. They have agreed to undertake the Phase 1 project with 100% equity, to be refinanced, together with the Phase 2 project, after commissioning. We will be seeking debt financing commitments early in 2018.
The project’s development is supported by an $855,000 grant from the US Trade and Development Agency and another $100,000 from the Access/FMO competition. GreenMax is responsible, under the USTDA grant, for organizing the debt financing package.

100 MW Solar PV Project, Kwara State University, Nigeria.
Solar Era Nigeria Limited (SEN) – a subsidiary of Africa Growth & Energy Solutions (AGES) – is currently developing a series of solar on-grid and mini-grid projects across rural communities in Kwara state. The first on-grid project is a 100MW solar PV project. SEN has entered a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Kwara State University (KWASU) to jointly develop a 100 MW grid-connected solar PV power plant in Kwara State.
The 100 MW Project will be in the Ogbondoroko Area of Asa Local Government Area in Kwara. AGES and KWASU have completed a pre-feasibility study for the project, which includes site assessment, conceptual design, cost estimation, energy yield & electricity tariff estimation, high-level financial analysis and main environmental constraints identification. In line with its obligations under the MOU, KWASU will secure the options agreements for land access and facilitate the acquisition of project permits and licenses.
A portion of the project’s electrical output (approximately 10MW) will be sold under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) to KWASU for its captive use while the balance (of approximately 90MW) will be sold to the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) PLC, the bulk trader and national off-taker in the Nigerian electricity supply industry (NESI). Negotiation of the PPA for sale of 10MW to KWASU is already well under way, while the grid-connected portion is planned to be part of the second round of PPAs, following the first round of PPAs in 2016. The first round consisted of 14 independent power producers with projects totaling approximately 1,125 MW. GreenMax will be seeking a strategic partner in early 2018 for SEH to complete development and implement the project .

50 MW Solar PV Project in Jigawa State, Nigeria.
Trust Synergy Infrastructures Limited (TSIL) is a renewable energy developer based in Kano, Nigeria. TSIL is developing a 50MW utility-scale solar PV project to be installed in Katangar Lafiya, Dutse, Jigawa State, in north-central Nigeria. The project, which is to be installed on a 100-hectare plot, will be connected to the national electricity network, with all generation output to be sold to the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) PLC, the bulk trader and national off-taker in the Nigerian electricity supply industry, under a long-term PPA.
A detailed pre-feasibility study has been completed, which includes a preliminary site selection, evaluation of the available direct solar radiation and existing road networks, and power transmission and distribution lines accessible for interconnecting the plant to the grid. Dutse, the capital city of Jigawa State, has a transmission sub-station (Dutse T/S) that connects directly to the Ex-Kumbotso transmission station (4x150MVA) in Kano through a 132KV line.
TSIL has received a letter of intent (LOI) from the Jigawa state government for allocation of a 100-hectare plot at Katangar Lafiya for the project. The project is planned to be part of the second round of PPAs that will be signed in Nigeria, following the first round of solar PPAs in Nigeria, that were signed by NBET in July 2016.

ENBED 20 MW Embedded CCGT Project, Nigeria.
Enbed Power Limited is an independent power producer that is developing a 20 MW of gas-fired power plants in Amuwo-Odofin, area in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria to supply electricity in Lagos. The project is going to be an embedded generation project that will be connected to the local electricity distribution network in the Ikeja Distribution Company’s franchise area. The Ikeja Distribution Company (DISCO) will off-take all the electricity produced by the gas power plant, which intends to be constructed in two phases.
In 2016, Enbed secured $703,452 in grant funding from the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) for the completion of a bankable feasibility study for the 20MW gas project. The feasibility study is presently ongoing and is expected to be completed in mid-2018. GreenMax is responsible, under the USTDA grant, for organizing the equity and debt financing packages and will be seeking a strategic partner for the project during 2018.
Enbed expects to sign a long term PPA with the Ikeja Distribution Company at an approved tariff set under the NERC’s multi-year tariff order ( MYTO) FiT regime.

Sale of Shares of Akiira Geothermal Limited, Kenya.
In 2017, GreenMax was been retained by Centum, the largest private equity fund in East Africa, to sell its shareholding in Akiira Geothermal Ltd., Akiira Geothermal Ltd.’s geothermal exploration and power plant development project is located next to the Olkaria geothermal field in Kenya. This is due to Centum’s strategic decision to exit from all of its energy sector investments to focus on its more traditional businesses.
The 140 MWe project is being in two phases of 70 MWe phases. Once completed, the Akiira project will be the first wholly private sector greenfield geothermal development in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Ganigobes Geothermal Energy Development Project, Namibia.
Etango Ltd. of Namibia, and RentCo, Ltd. of Kenya have entered a joint venture agreement to develop the geothermal resource at Ganigobes in Southern Namibia pursuant to a November 2015 exploration license issued by the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy. GreenMax has been retained to secure concessional funding for the surface exploration studies and to find a strategic investment partner.

Maralal Energy Ltd., Geothermal Project, Kenya.
The Kenyan renewable energy developer, Maralal Energy Ltd., is developing a geothermal project in the Baringo prospect area and has retained GreenMax as its advisor to secure funding for resource exploration and other project development tasks. GreenMax has assisted Maralal in accessing approx. 750,000 USD of funding from the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF), for the carrying out of surface studies and will be seeking a strategic partner for the project during 2018.

Arus Energy 140 MW Geothermal Project, Kenya.
Arus Energy Ltd. has been awarded an 800-acre concession in the Arus-Bogoria geothermal prospect, located in Kenya’s Rift Valley region. GreenMax has been retained to secure concessional funding for surface exploration, manage the early stage project development activity and seek a strategic partner for the remaining project development and implementation of the power plant. GreenMax has assisted Arus in accessing approx. 750,000 USD of funding from the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF), for the carrying out of surface studies and will be seeking a strategic partner for the project during 2018.

Brio Integrated Power 70 MW Embedded Power CCGT Project, Nigeria.
Brio Integrated Power Limited is a Nigerian developer and is currently developing an embedded gas-fired combined cycle gas turbine (“CCGT”) power project. The first phase capacity will be 70 MW, with a potential for expansion up to 160 MW.
The project will be located at the Agbara Industrial Estate in Lagos State, Nigeria, and the generated energy and capacity will be sold to Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc., one of the two distribution companies in Lagos state.
GreenMax is seeking a strategic investor to support the project development.

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