Solarise Africa, a pan-African Energy-as-a-Service provider, has received a $33.4 million facility from Lion’s Head managed fund, the Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI), to help the company solidify its position in Kenya’s solar market and expand across Africa.
FEI will contribute USD 21.4 million toward the total amount, with Oikocredit contributing USD 7 million and Lion’s Head managed fund, AfricaGoGreen Fund “AGG,” contributing USD 5 million.
“We are very honored and grateful for the investors’ confidence in us,” says Jan Albert Valk, CEO and Co-Founder of Solarise Africa. This is the largest debt raise in Africa’s C&I space to date, demonstrating Solarise Africa’s solid business model. We are pleased to welcome three prestigious new investors to our current group of investors: Lead arranger FEI, Oikocredit, and AfricaGoGreen. We have significantly expanded our footprint and portfolio through 2022, and with this new loan, we will be able to catapult our efforts to advance renewable energy adoption in Africa,” said the company.
Solarise Africa offers dependable and cost-effective decentralized energy solutions to African businesses. The company provides innovative full-service solutions for designing, building, financing, and maintaining renewable energy installations in close collaboration with its partners. In the 2022 AFSIA Solar Awards, the company was nominated for African Solar Company Of The Year.
The FEI-structured transaction gives Solarise Africa the necessary funding and flexibility to significantly expand its portfolio in Kenya and other selected African countries. The Solarise Africa financing was made possible by FEI as lead arranger, Oikocredit, the social impact investor, and energy efficiency-focused AGG, which joined the consortium to specifically finance the installation of industrial machinery that significantly reduces energy usage.
Solarise Africa recently installed solar panels at the Volvo Trucks manufacturing plant in Durban, South Africa. The 243 kWp solar facility, built in collaboration with SEM Solutions, featured 440 solar panels, two solar inverters, and 125 meters of permanent safety lines strung across 470 meters of walkways.
Lion’s Head is a frontier and emerging markets investment bank and asset manager. Lion’s Head Asset Management (“LHGP Asset Management”) manages over US$600 million in assets across 27 African countries.
FEI is intended to assist small-scale independent power producers supplying power to the grid, mini-grids, commercial and industrial projects, and captive power projects. The African Development Bank established FEI as part of its New Deal for Africa initiative. Aside from the AfDB investment, FEI also received equity funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development via KfW and Norfund, as well as a loan commitment from the Austrian Development Bank. The African Development Bank also made investments on behalf of the Clean Technology Fund and the European Commission.
AGG was founded by KFW and has received funding commitments from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through KfW, as well as from the African Development Bank, NDF, SEFA, Calvert Impact Capital, and the IFC.
Oikocredit, a global cooperative and social impact investor, has over 45 years of experience funding organizations working in financial inclusion, agriculture, and renewable energy. Oikocredit’s loans, equity investments, and capacity building aim to help low-income people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America improve their living standards in a sustainable way. Oikocredit finances over 500 partners, with € 1,049.3 million in total development financing capital outstanding (at 30 September 2022).
Solarise Africa also recently assisted Goshawk Cresent in Parklands Estate with their solar conversion. Goshawk Cresent built a 301 kWp solar facility with 619 x 490 JA Solar panels and 780 kWh of battery storage. It cut their electricity costs by 80% and reduced their carbon footprint by 11,284 tonnes, which is the equivalent of planting 188,061 trees. Over the life of the plant, the estate will save over R60.3 million and provide reliable renewable electricity to the 138 homes in Goshawk Cresent.
“The commercial and industrial solar market in Africa has enormous potential.” This transaction exemplifies FEI and Lion’s Head Group’s adaptability and client-centric focus. This multi-country loan will allow Solarise Africa to “solidify its position in the commercial and industrial solar market in Kenya while also expanding its operations in other African jurisdictions,” said Orli Arav, Head of Debt Funds at LHGP Asset Management.