The Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI), administered by Lion’s Head, has provided Solarise Africa with a $33.4 million facility, the largest C&I debt raise in Africa to date, to enable the company to strengthen its position in Kenya’s solar industry and expand throughout Africa. FEI will provide USD 21.4 million of the total amount and is being joined by Oikocredit (USD 7 million) and Lion’s Head managed fund, AfricaGoGreen Fund (AGG, USD 5 million).
Founded by Jan Albert Valk, Solarise Africa provides decentralised energy solutions for businesses in Africa. It offers full-service solutions through close collaboration with its partners that cover designing, building, financing and maintaining renewable energy installations.
“We are very honoured and grateful for the confidence the investors have shown in us. As the largest debt raise in Africa’s C&I space to date, this proves that Solarise Africa has a solid business model. We are proud to welcome these three prestigious new investors – Lead arranger FEI, Oikocredit and AfricaGoGreen – to our current group of investors. Throughout 2022, we have significantly grown our footprint and portfolio, and with this new loan, we will be able to catapult our efforts to advance renewable energy adoption in Africa, “said Valk.
The FEI was set up by development finance institution (DFI) the African Development Bank (AfDB) as part of its New Deal for Africa initiative. It is designed to support small-scale independent power producers delivering power to the grid, mini-grids, commercial and industrial and captive power projects.
Further, the transaction was supported by FEI’s Project Preparation Facility (PPF), funded by the Global Environment Facility through the AfDB. The PPF provides returnable grant funding for last-mile processes that are crucial to closing transactions and to fund due diligence and preparatory costs incurred in establishing innovative structures or transactions that FEI is seeking to lend to.
The FEI also received equity funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through German development agency KfW and DFI Norfund, as well as a loan commitment from the Austrian Development Bank. The AfDB also invested on behalf of the Clean Technology Fund and the European Commission.
“The commercial and industrial solar market has a huge potential in Africa. This transaction demonstrates the flexibility and client-oriented focus of FEI and Lion’s Head Group. This multi-country loan will allow Solarise Africa to solidify its position in the commercial and industrial solar market in Kenya and expand its activities in other jurisdictions in Africa”, said Orli Arav, Head of Debt Funds at LHGP Asset Management.