Access Power, a developer, owner and operator of power projects in emerging markets, has announced the launch of ACF 2016, the second edition of its successful Access Co-Development Facility for renewable energy projects in Africa. The inaugural ACF in 2015 was won by Nigeria’s Quaint Solar Energy and Flatbush Solar from Cameroon. Other competing projects came from Cape Verde, Kenya, Madagascar, South Africa, Morocco, Ghana, Rwanda and Tanzania. A statement from the organisers said the launch took place at the Making Solar Bankable conference in Amsterdam. ACF 2016 is a $7million financial support mechanism designed to provide local power project developers and originators with the technical experience, expertise and funding required to bring their renewable energy projects to life, said the statement. It said: “Following the competition’s successful launch last year, the ACF increased its funding pot from $5million in 2015 to $7million for this year’s winners. “The successful projects will be selected by a panel of expert judges whose decision will be based on commercial, technical and environmental merits, the local regulatory environment, and the project team.” It said further, “The winners of ACF 2016 will be announced on June 21, 2016 before a live audience during the Africa Energy Forum in London. The winners will enter a Joint Development Agreement with Access Power, which will take an equity stake in the winning projects and fund third-party development costs such as feasibility studies, grid studies, environmental and social impact assessments and due diligence fees.” It added that Access Power will also provide technical support, financial structure and development process management. Comment, the Executive Chairman, Access Power, Mr.Reda El Chaar,said: “ACF 2016 is leading the way in demonstrating and supporting the type of renewable energy projects that will help meet Africa’s massive and urgent need for electrification. “Through this unique facility, we hope to encourage innovation and support companies in their efforts to deliver power to places that desperately need it. Last year we received a total of 55 submissions from 18 countries across Africa, including solar, wind, hydro, hybrid and bio-mass projects. “2016 looks set to build on that success. We look forward with great interest to receiving this year’s entries and hearing the judge’s final decision during an exciting live event at the Africa Energy Forum in London this summer.” The organisers disclosed that one project had already pre-qualified for ACF2016. A 25MW solar project being developed in Sierra Leone by Africa Growth and Energy Solutions (AGES) won the Solar Shark Tank competition at the Making Solar Bankable conference in Amsterdam on 18th February. In a keenly fought contest, three emerging markets developers competed for a $100,000 grant to support the development of their solar projects, funded by Access Power and Dutch development bank FMO. Part of the prize, subject to terms and conditions, was pre-qualification for ACF2016.
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