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New Social Enterprise to Accelerate Clean Energy Access in Africa

Developer applies megaproject risk mitigation techniques to distributed clean energy microgrid projects to lower the cost of capital and accelerate the delivery of energy access to millions.

SAN DIEGO, CA, May 4, 2017 – Millennium Microgrid, a social enterprise dedicated to bringing clean, affordable, and financially sustainable energy services to rural off-grid customers in Sub-Saharan Africa, announced its official launch today.  The company will develop, acquire, and finance solar powered microgrids that serve communities that presently have no access to grid power.  Millennium Microgrid is part of the growing movement to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 (ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all no later than 2030) through the deployment of smart distributed generation and storage technologies. 

Two out of three Sub-Saharan Africans – 600,000,000 people - lack access to electricity.  Notwithstanding the strong international commitment to provide energy access to all by 2030, the number of un-electrified in Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to increase by that year if only conventional approaches like centralized energy are deployed.  But because of radical cost reductions in PV solar and energy storage technologies, energy can now be delivered by solar microgrids much faster, more sustainably, and more cost-effectively than by centralized power, and microgrids are an essential tool in the effort to achieve universal energy access. 

“Microgrids are the lowest-cost and most expedient option – compared to grid extension and solar home systems – for delivering clean energy services to millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa who currently lack access to reliable electricity and all of the developmental benefits that it brings,” said Jeff Rector, CEO of Millennium Microgrid.  “But we haven’t seen widespread deployment yet, in part due to lack of access to affordable long-term private sector finance.  We have a vision for how to minimize project risk and attract cheaper capital, turning the promise of financially sustainable microgrids into reality.  With proper transaction structuring, cheaper investment and debt capital will flow in sufficient quantities to have revolutionary effect.”

Rector has deep experience in large infrastructure project finance in frontier markets as well as portfolio financing of distributed energy projects.  Recognizing that combining techniques from both areas of expertise would be key to tackling the financing impediments currently limiting renewable microgrid development in Sub-Saharan Africa, Rector was inspired to found Millennium Microgrid.  More information about the company’s approach and investment opportunities is available on the company’s website.

About Millennium Microgrid

Millennium Microgrid is a for-profit social enterprise that develops, finances, and operates renewables-based microgrids to bring affordable, sustainable energy services to rural off-grid communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, delivering attractive triple bottom line results to off-grid communities, customers and investors.

Nancy Wahl-Scheurich 
(760) 813-5795