Africa-focused clean energy provider, WeLight, has secured €19 million in financing from European investment institutions the European Investment Bank (EIB), Triodos Investment Management and the Electrification Financing Initiative (ElectriFI), to implement its €28 million electrification program aimed at boosting energy access for rural consumers in Madagascar.
The funding will be combined with €9 million in loans which WeLight will source from its shareholders – AXIAN Group, Sagemcom and Norfund.
The mini-grids will comprise a solar PV system, battery energy storage, electricity distribution network and a meter for each consumer and will power 45,000 rural households, businesses, schools, healthcare centers and public spaces that are currently without access to electricity across 120 villages.
The project is expected to provide 250,000 people with access to clean and affordable electricity while increasing WeLight’s coverage in Madagascar from eight to 17 regions.
With only 25% of Madagascar’s total population currently with access to electricity, the project, which is being deployed in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and the Agency for the Development of Rural Electrification (ADER), will advance the government’s electrification and economic growth agenda.
Romain de Villeneuve, Chief Executive Officer of WeLight Madagascar, stated that the project will “positively impact hundreds of thousands of people, greatly enhancing living standards, the local economy and people’s well-being. WeLight has already deployed its solutions in more than 40 rural communities.”
EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, added that EIB’s backing of the project in Madagascar represents part of the group’s commitment to contributing towards scaling up solar mini grid deployment in Africa to mitigate climate change, with the bank having funded projects in Benin, Chad, the Comoro Islands, Mozambique and Uganda.
WeLight has set a target to construct more than one hundred mini-grids in Madagascar.