SIERRA LEONE – West African solar energy solutions provider, Easy Solar has secured a US$5 million local currency credit facility from the Energy Inclusion Facility’s Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (EIF OGEF).
The credit facility provides primarily secured financing to support the growth of innovative off-grid energy companies.
Managed by Lion’s Head Global Partners (LHGP), the fund is part of the Energy Inclusion Facility (EIF), a debt financing mechanism for small-scale electricity access projects capitalized by AfDB and other development finance institutions and commercial investors.
The local currency funding will allow the company to better manage foreign exchange risk and ultimately provide affordable products at scale to reach more off-grid households in Sierra Leone.
The transaction was supported by the U.S. government’s Power Africa initiative, which provided legal support and technical advice to Easy Solar through a team from the international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright.
With the OGEF EIF line of credit, Easy Solar wants to focus on expanding financing for its core solar product line.
The company distributes solar home systems, solar lanterns, productive appliances, consumer electronics such as televisions and fans, and even freezers.
“Access to affordable local currency debt financing has been one of the main constraints to accelerating our expansion in our core markets and beyond,” said Alexandre Tourre, Easy Solar’s co-founder, and CEO.
“Partnering with FEI-OGEF will allow us to strengthen and simplify our balance sheet while bringing energy access to hundreds of thousands of people in Sierra Leone.”
This would entail installations of at least 94 solar mini-grids to be operated and managed by private sector partners under public-private partnership agreements with the Ministry of Energy in Sierra Leone.
With the support of the government, private sectors, and investors such as Easy Solar, which has been operating since 2016, to continue providing energy solutions to the majority of the population that still lacks access to electricity.