Powerhive Kenya

Ground-mounted solar PV mini-grid project to connect 90,000 Kenyans to clean electricity for the first time over the next five years.

Around 90,000 people living in rural Kenya are set to gain first-time electricity access after REPP approved a US$3m results-based financing facility for this first-of-kind mini-grid project.

Developer Powerhive is currently building 100 ground-mounted mini-grids that will supply clean energy to rural communities in the Kisii and Nyamira regions of south-western Kenya over the next five years.

So far, the company has installed 13 operational grids with a total generating capacity of 130kW, resulting in over 11,000 people being connected to electricity for the first time.

Once they are all operational, the mini-grids will provide up to 1MW of generating capacity, and will directly support Kenya’s NDC target to abate 30% of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Electricity is sold directly to local households and businesses by developer Powerhive East Africa Ltd on a prepayment basis. Each system will include batteries to offer reliable power to customers.

REPP’s financing facility is enabling Powerhive to complete the successful roll-out of Phase 2 and grow to a sufficient scale to attract additional debt and equity finance, and continue building mini-grids in Kenya.

Up until 2016, mini-grids were not licensed but “tolerated” in Kenya. Powerhive broke new ground when it became the first private company to be licensed for developing mini-grids. The success of the venture is expected to make it easier for other private developers to operate in Kenya and will assist in the creation of a sustainable business model.

Funding structure

Contracted date: 24 May 2018
Lending type: Debt
REPP funding: US$3,000,000

The REPP facility has been critical to unlocking the potential of microgrids for Powerhive in Kenya. In addition to providing equity investors with a framework to understand how Powerhive’s microgrid projects can be leveraged by project debt, it is also a great show of confidence in our data-driven platform, which we intend to deploy across Kenya and more broadly Africa in the future.
- Christopher Hornor, Founder and CEO, Powerhive