Project supports Sierra Leone’s NDC goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 and the promotion of renewable energy sources, particularly in the rural areas, as a key mitigation strategy (NDC, 2015). It also supports the country’s national electrification target of 92% by 2030 (National Renewable Energy Action Plan, 2016).
A USD 1.25m term loan from REPP is being used to support the construction and operation of 9 new solar-powered mini-grids in Sierra Leone, and the operation of a further 23 existing sites.
The 1.3MW Moyamba portfolio is being developed by Energicity (SL) Ltd, which is a subsidiary of Energicity Corporation, a woman-led business. Energicity (SL) Ltd won a concession to develop and operate the 32 mini-grid sites through a competitive bid issued by Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Energy’s Rural Renewable Electrification Project.
The electrification project was conceived in the wake of the 2014 Ebola crisis to support Sierra Leone’s health care system, and a significant part of the Moyamba project is targeted towards strengthening the system’s resilience via direct connection to hospitals and clinics. As part of the bidding agreement, Energicity – through Energicity (SL) Limited – is required to provide a minimum of 6.6kWh/day to community health centres free of charge.
As well as supporting health care, the mini-grids are suitable for productive uses of energy, such as milling and grinding, thus providing income-generating opportunities for local businesses and direct job opportunities for communities. Energicity is also developing “behind the meter” relationships with customers, providing electric wiring of homes and value-added services such as leasing freezers and electric motors.
Energicity is also required to provide for the long-term commercial operation of the existing and new mini-grids, which are all located in western Sierra Leone. This includes technical O&M, customer connection, metering technology supply, electricity sales, revenue collection, monitoring and evaluation and other responsibilities.
As of October 2021, 25 of the 32 mini-grids were operational and generating revenue, following partial funding from the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (formerly Department for International Development). The remaining seven mini-grids require meters and additional labour to bring them into commercial operation. Construction of the remaining mini-grids is expected to be completed by Q1 2022.
By having 60% female representation in senior management, the Moyamba project meets the 2X Challenge criteria for gender lens investment.
Contracted date: 1 April 2021
Lending type: Senior term loan
REPP funding: USD 1.25 million
Energicity is pleased to partner with the Renewable Energy Performance Platform to develop our concession in Sierra Leone. With the USD 1.25 million in funding, Energicity’s subsidiary will be able to provide electricity to nearly 80,000 people, providing affordable, reliable and scalable electricity so that families and communities can thrive.- Nicole Poindexter, CEO and Founder, Energicity Corp