Six selected projects in Ecowas member states have emerged as winners of the third Ecowas Rural Electrification Facility (EREF 3) and received cheques amounting to over $980,000 as grant.
The cheques were presented to the award winners by the executive director of ECREEE, Mahama Kappiah, together with other distinguished dignitaries at the end of a three-day Ecowas Sustainable Energy Forum held in Accra, Ghana from 22 – 24 October 2019.
The beneficiary companies included AGROCOOPCHA of Cabo Verde; Fanny Franck, Global Resources Limited of Nigeria; Access SA of Mali; Translight Solar LTD of Ghana; Jesuton Sarl of Togo and; Unique Solutions & Unique Energy Company Limited of The Gambia.
Energy experts at the forum described EREF 3, as a highly competitive co-funding grant, viewed by many as a game changer in the quest to harness the full potentials of mini-grids in communities not connected to the national grid in a bid to enhance socio-economic development.
To this end, ECREEE has put emphasis on results-based financing, with contributions tied to the procurement of generation and distribution of equipment in achieving a determined number of connections.
Under the agreement, the 6 selected projects will also provide significant counterpart financing which will represent a total installed capacity of 231 kWp, close to 2000 new connections, reaching over 10,000 beneficiaries in communities across the region.
It would be recalled that Ecowas Renewable Energy Facility (EREF) was set up in 2011 to support small-to-medium scale renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in West Africa. Since its inception, more than 50 projects have been co-funded by the Facility, among them 10 Clean Energy Mini-grids in countries such as Sierra Leone, Niger, Senegal, Cabo Verde, Guinea or Benin.
ECREEE has also mobilised partners such as USAID, OFID, Austrian Ministry of Environment, UNIDO, ADA and AECID to contribute to EREF, amounting to about 3 million US dollars in grant co-funding.