Solar Tyme seeks US$1.75M in funding for solar microgrid and power plant in Sierra Leone

AFRICA – Solar Tyme, a US-based leading solar installation company is seeking to raise US$1.75 million for the construction of two renewable energy projects in Sierra Leone.

The company intends to construct a 200 KW solar microgrid power plant in Kumala and a 50KW solar system power plant in Liro, with associated distribution lines and ancillaries.

Local and state government representatives have sanctioned the two projects, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Energy last December.

The U.S. solar provider will install and operate the two projects on an independent power producer and build-own-operate basis, delivering and selling electricity produced to the respective communities through an offtake agreement.

Solar Tyme intends to be the leading provider of clean, affordable, and reliable power to local communities, who have expressed both a willingness and a capacity to pay for connectivity,” said Eric Jalloh, Chief Operating Officer of Solar Tyme’s Sierra Leone branch

Our projects are community-focused and economic development-driven, with the electricity supplied directly to households on a prepaid basis.”

With US$100 million worth of clean energy projects in its pipeline, including another solar farm in Sierra Leone, the firm is currently expanding its operations across Africa.

The project aims to increase electricity access in the West African country that has one of the lowest electrification rates in the World at 26% and a drop to 6% in rural areas.

The country is trying to bridge this gap through development of mini-grids implemented under two donor-funded projects, of which the largest is the Rural Renewable Energy Project (RREP).

The project aims to establish an enabling environment for a private sector-driven rural mini-grid market in the country, with the objective of supplying up to 5 MW of renewable electricity in rural communities.

It entails 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.

The country is also encouraging flexible subsidy mechanisms, such as an up-front cash grant/results-based financing hybrid scheme to reduce project costs and potentially lower tariffs.

This structure reduces developers’ up-front capital constraints while also ensuring the quality of service as developers are fully paid based on the deployment and verification of the connections.

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