Zambia to Benefit from Engie’s 60 Minigrids Construction Project

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MySol Grid Zambia has secured $7.5 million of debt from the Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI) to build 60 minigrids. The projects will provide electricity to more than 40,000 people in rural areas. Importantly, MySol Grid Zambia is a subsidiary of EEA established by African Development Bank and managed by UK-based investment bank Cygnum Capital.

MySol Grid Zambia will construct, own and operate the minigrids under Increased Access to Electricity and Renewable Energy Production (IAEREP) program. As part of IAEREP, the European Union previously allocated €6 million ($6.5 million) grants to Engie’s offgrid unit. This was actualized in the context of the EU Global Gateway initiative.

Also Read: EU to invest over US $40m into Zambia’s renewable energy sector

Importance of the 60 minigrids to Zambia’s development goal

Importantly, zambia’s population is highly dispersed across rural areas making expansion of the national grid economically and technically challenging. Therefore, decentralized energy solutions are critical to the Zambian government’s efforts to achieve its official target of universal access to energy by 2030. The government’s stated goal by 2023 was to deploy 500 MW of solar PV.

Indeed, the offgrid solar sector has made significant progress in attracting finance, with companies offering pay-as-you-go and cash sale options for solar home systems, solar lanterns, solar appliances, and solar water pumps.

MySol Grid Zambia is a leading player in the African offgrid market. In 2022, EEA had more than 1.5 million solar home systems sold and 16 minigrids in operation, as a result of bringing US solar home system business Fenix International, Berlin-based Mobisol, and Engie PowerCorner minigrids under one roof. Its projects have affected 7 million people in nine countries across Africa.

In Zambia, specifically, the need for rural electrification is dire. According to World Bank data, in 2021 Zambia’s national electrification rate stood at 46.7 %, with only 14.5% of the rural population having access to electricity.