- Winch Energy and NEoT Offgrid Africa have together raised $16 million through a new investment vehicle
- Proceeds will be deployed for solar mini grids in various districts of Sierra Leone and Uganda
- The investment vehicle is targeted to reach close to $100 million operating projects in the region over next 2 years
Africa focused off-grid energy service provider Winch Energy has raised $16 million along with NEoT Offgrid Africa to be deployed for the development of solar mini grids in Uganda and Sierra Leone. On its Twitter handle, the company claimed it as the ‘largest ever’ limited recourse financing for solar mini grids.
Over the next 12 months, these mini grids will be built using a Remote Power Unit (RPU), Winch Energy’s own proprietary technology to connect more than 6,500 customers in the Uganda’s Lamwo district, and in Sierra Leone’s Tonkolili, Koinadugu and Bombali districts. These mini grids will supply clean energy to over 60,000 people.
The project financing will also support installation of 6,000 portable batteries to provide people outside the mini grid catchment area with clean electricity.
These mini grids are aimed at providing clean energy access to locals along with internet to the communities through partnerships with telecom operators in both nations. “The developments will open up a pipeline of additional projects in both countries, further securing Winch Energy’s position in the off-grid market,” it added.
The financing has come through a new investment vehicle owned by both the partners, called Winch IPP Holdings Limited (WIPP) that’s set to expand their operations geographically and reach a close to $100 million operating projects in next 2 years.
“Subsidies are provided by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO, formerly DFID) for the projects in Sierra Leone and by the German Development Ministry (BMZ) and European Union in support of the Ugandan projects,” added Winch Energy. “The project development is also supported by GIZ in Uganda and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Sierra Leone.”
Winch Energy is jointly owned by Total Eren, Itochu Corporation, Al Gihaz Holdings and Winch Partners, while NEoT Offgrid is a Meridiam, EDF and Mitsubishi Corporation platform.