NIGERIA: CBEA finances $60 million for the deployment of Engie’s solar mini-grids
In Nigeria Engie Energy Access, the subsidiary of the French giant Engie, has signed a $60 million financing agreement with CrossBoundary Energy Access (CBEA). This partnership concerns the deployment of solar mini-grids for the electrification of 150,000 people in rural areas.
CrossBoundary Energy Access (CBEA) and Engie Energy Access are joining hands for electrification in Nigeria. The two companies are committed to developing a portfolio of grid-equipped solar mini-power plants for the electrification of rural communities. Engie plans to deploy mini-grids to power 150,000 people.
Under the recently announced partnership agreement, the deployment of these electricity access facilities will be financed to the tune of $60 million by CBEA, which will own the entire portfolio of solar mini-grids. After construction and commissioning, Engie will operate and maintain them. The company, led by Gillian-Alexandre Huart, “will ensure that residential, commercial and generation customers receive clean, reliable electricity, while providing high-quality, customer-centric services,” CBEA says.
The two companies are executing this transaction under the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) of Nigeria, with funding from the World Bank. As such, this portfolio of solar mini-grids will benefit from the Performance Based Grant (PBG), a mechanism that supports the projects of many electricity service providers in Nigeria.
The upcoming solar mini-grids will strengthen Engie’s presence in Nigeria, a vast market of more than 211 million people where more than 65% of the rural population still lacks access to electricity, according to Power Africa. The company inaugurated its first solar mini-grid in Nigeria in April 2022. The facility is located in Gbangba in Niger State. The 90 kWp solar system equipped with a mini grid supplies power to 1,500 people, as well as micro and small enterprises (MSEs).