The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, has committed $6 million (Ksh615 million) in debt financing to CrossBoundary Energy, Sub Saharan Africa’s first investment fund for commercial and industrial solar.
A statement from CrossBoundary Energy on November 21 said that OPIC’s latest commitment will contribute to the funding of six captive solar PV projects currently under construction or in development.
The CrossBoundary Energy projects total over 5.75 megawatts of capacity, and are located in Kenya, Rwanda, and Ghana for clients of multinational firms and local companies.
CrossBoundary Energy was formed in 2015 and seeks to provides solar power to African enterprises. Clients sign long term power purchase agreements to purchase solar electricity without contributing upfront investment or taking technical risk on construction and maintenance.
By financing, building, owning and operating the captive solar system for the client, CrossBoundary Energy aims to ensure that the client receives cheaper and cleaner electricity.
OPIC President and chief executive Ray W. Washburne said, “We’re pleased to be supporting them (CrossBoundary Energy) to expand the provision of cleaner and cheaper power that helps African enterprises grow and bolsters the mission of Power Africa.”
CrossBoundary Energy was the first investment platform dedicated to the financing of captive commercial and industrial (C&I) solar PV projects in Africa. CrossBoundary Energy now has over 28.8 MWp of C&I projects under operation, construction or awarded. This, according to the firm, is the largest portfolio of such assets in Sub-Saharan Africa.
CrossBoundary Group co-Managing Partner, Matthew Tilleard said, “This commitment from OPIC provides us with additional, affordable financing that in turn allows companies across Sub-Saharan Africa to benefit from affordable solar that delivers energy savings, business growth and a lower carbon footprint.”
Jake Cusack, co-Managing Partner of the CrossBoundary Group concurred with Mr. Tilleard. “OPIC’s commitment will assist with financing an important part of CrossBoundary Energy’s current portfolio as it continues to build out its commercial pipeline across Sub-Saharan Africa.”
OPIC has been a longstanding partner of CrossBoundary Energy, having provided a grant in 2014 through the U.S. Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative (ACEF) to support the establishment of CrossBoundary Energy.
The CrossBoundary Group seeks to unlock capital to drive sustainable growth in developing and frontier markets.
CrossBoundary Energy is its Sub-Saharan Africa platform which invests capital in solar projects to provide cheaper and cleaner power to African enterprises. The platform also provides financing for distributed solar projects between 100kW and 10MW in order to serve commercial and industrial clients across Africa.
According to the firm, the CrossBoundary Group has a team of over 50 people in total, located at offices in Bamako,Mali; Johannesburg, South Africa; Lagos, Nigeria; Nairobi, Kenya; Dubai, UAE; and in the US Cities of New York and Washington, D.C.