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New solar mini-grids to power rural Zambia

ENGIE Energy Access starts mini-grid construction in Zambia. (Image source: ENGIE Energy Access)

ENGIE Energy Access, the leading provider of Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) and mini-grid solutions in Africa, has begun constructing 15 solar mini-grids in Zambia's Eastern Province

This initiative is part of the transformative Increase Access to Electricity and Renewable Energy Production (IAEREP) programme, funded by the 11th European Development Fund and the European Union.

Rural power expansion

By expanding the adoption of off-grid energy solutions in Zambia, ENGIE Energy Access aims to deliver reliable electricity to underserved families and small businesses, fostering economic growth and enhancing socio-economic welfare in local communities.

MySol Grid Zambia, a unit of ENGIE Energy Access, is responsible for constructing, owning, operating, and maintaining these mini-grids. This ensures that residential, commercial, and productive-use customers have access to dependable and renewable power along with value-adding services.

“We are excited to announce this significant milestone, which brings ENGIE Energy Access closer to achieving its goal of operating 60 mini-grids across five provinces in Zambia. This project supports several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 7, by delivering affordable, reliable, and sustainable clean energy to 40,000 people living in rural areas. Our work is an important element of the national electrification plans, and we are committed to collaborating with the authorities to expand energy access and promote sustainable development in Zambia,” said Gillian-Alexandre Huart, CEO of ENGIE Energy Access.

The initial sites in this pioneering project include: Lusinde, Kandongwa, Nyimba Mwana, Chidiwa, Chataika, Kanyanga, Petulo, Kasamba, Chidiwa, Mphole, Mung’omba, Kalambana, Mtore, Kondwelani, Lunga, and Luamphande, with operations scheduled to commence by the end of 2024.

In 2023, MySol Grid Zambia secured a US$7.5mn debt facility from the Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI), managed by Cygnum Capital. This funding will enable the company to construct a total of 60 mini-grids under the IAEREP programme, marking a significant advancement for the mini-grid sector with long-term, non-recourse financing.

ENGIE Energy Access established its presence in Zambia in 2017, currently employing over 250 staff, 650 independent sales agents, and maintaining more than 60 points of presence nationwide. The company has sold over 300,000 solar home system kits and operates one mini-grid in Chitandika.

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