Success of eight-investor funding round to help leading African private utility provide high-quality, reliable electricity to an estimated 480,000 people by 2024.

Approximately, 480,000 people are expected to be served with high-quality, reliable electricity by 2024 under bold expansion plans by one of Africa’s leading private utilities.

PowerGen Renewable Energy (PowerGen) completed a successful Series B round in November 2019, which drew funding from eight investors, including USD 2m in equity from REPP. The other seven were Shell’s New Energies business, Sumitomo Corporation, Omidyar Network, Acumen, EDFI ElectriFI, DOB Equity, and Micro-grid Catalytic Capital Partners.

PowerGen is one of the pioneers building and managing smart grids with renewable energy, which deliver clean, affordable and reliable electricity to underserved people in Africa.  The company’s “smart grid” approach involves:

  1. A clean grid that utilises distributed renewable energy (DRE) and displaces diesel generation
  2. A holistic systems-based approach to network planning by integrating the best of on-grid and off-grid technologies
  3. A software-based, data-driven approach powered by real-time analytics and controls to drive operational excellence
  4. A customer-centric approach that provides reliable power with productive use support (such as e-mobility and electric cooking) to provide an excellent customer experience to all

Following the closing of the Series B fundraise, PowerGen has installed 3.67MW of renewable energy capacity, providing electricity access for the first time to over 170,000 people across Nigeria, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. Around 75,830 people have been connected as a direct result of REPP’s investment, as well as over 2,200 micro-businesses.

PowerGen plans to scale up to a “critical mass” of 69,000 customers – connecting 480,000 people across these four countries and Benin by 2024, which will enable it to accelerate its reach in future. The company is scaling up its productive use programmes that enhance the quality of life of its customers; these include electric cooking, e-mobility and cold storage.

Back in 2016, REPP provided early-stage funding assistance and support that has helped the company position itself at the forefront of the off-grid sector in Tanzania and Kenya.

REPP’s support during PowerGen’s latest fundraise was key to crowding-in additional funding from private investors, enabling the company to reach its fundraising target.

Funding structure

Contracted date: 17 January 2020

Lending type: Equity

REPP funding: USD 2m

REPP is one of PowerGen’s longest-term partners and has a deep understanding of the mini-grid business from both a corporate and project finance perspective. We are thrilled to have them as an equity investor in PowerGen and to work together with their experienced team to continue building the private utility sector in Africa
- Sam Slaughter, Co-founder and former CEO, PowerGen Renewable Energy