28 June, 2024 Member article

Off-grid energy leader ENGIE Energy Access launches 15 solar mini-grids in Zambia, targets 60 by 2025

ARE Member ENGIE Energy Access, Africa’s leading Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) and mini-grid solutions provider, has officially commenced the construction of 15 solar mini-grids in Zambia’s Eastern Province. This initiative is a crucial 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.

By expanding the adoption of off-grid energy solutions in Zambia, ENGIE Energy Access will provide reliable electricity to underserved families and small businesses, creating economic growth and increasing 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 first sites in this ground-breaking project include: Lusinde, Kandongwa, Nyimba Mwana, Chidiwa, Chataika, Kanyanga, Petulo, Kasamba, Chidiwa, Mphole, Mung’omba, Kalambana, Mtore, Kondwelani, Lunga, and Luamphande and are scheduled to be operational by the end of 2024.

In 2023, MySol Grid Zambia signed a USD 7.5 million debt facility with Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI), managed by Cygnum Capital. This funding will provide the company with the necessary resources and flexibility to construct a total of 60 mini-grids under the IAEREP programme. This is a significant step for the mini-grid sector, with these assets having attracted non-recourse long-term financing.

ENGIE Energy Access established its presence in Zambia in 2017. It currently has over 250 employees, 650 independent sales agents, and more than 60 points of presence across the country. The company has sold over 300,000 SHS kits and has 1 mini-grid operational in Chitandika.