At COP28, All On and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) announced $15 million in investments on top of existing deployments to expand the Demand Aggregation for Renewable Technology (DART) program. The announcement was made during the Energy Day at the back of a World Bank event on Distributed Renewable Energy (DRE) focused on accelerating universal access to energy in Africa.
The DART program, which began in Nigeria in 2021, is a global aggregated procurement financing initiative for renewable energy companies to decrease the cost of deploying these technologies in communities most in need. To date, savings of up to 30% for solar equipment have been achieved with the program, spurring standardization of the market and accelerating the sector. With this additional funding from GEAPP, the DART program’s total fund size will increase to $25 million.
Caroline Eboumbou, CEO of All On, expressed excitement about the news, saying, “We are especially excited that this funding will not only unlock economies of scale for renewable energy developers in Nigeria, but will also accelerate the transition to renewable energy access for all and play a pivotal role in unlocking local currency financing for the sector. This investment demonstrates the confidence in the DART program’s success since its inception in 2021.”
The facility is seeded by investments of $20 million and $5 million from GEAPP and All On respectively. Its primary objective is to bolster financing opportunities and stimulate economies of scale for small and medium-sized developers operating in the renewable energy sector.
Joseph Ng’ang’a, GEAPP’s Interim Managing Director and Vice President for Africa said, “Our continued collaboration with All On and Odyssey Energy Solutions is focused on delivering real results for Nigeria’s renewable energy sector: empowering entrepreneurs, creating jobs, and driving economic growth, while addressing the critical gap between energy demand, supply, and transmission. This partnership lies at the heart of GEAPP’s mission – to ignite a green energy revolution that transforms the lives and livelihoods of people and their communities across Nigeria and around the world.”
The DART pilot in Nigeria demonstrates DRE as a scalable, market-driven solution that can reach the underserved with low cost, low carbon power, and faster than a traditional grid.
In conjunction with the expansion of the DART program, we are pleased to announce the commissioning of the largest isolated mini-grid project in Benue State’s Chito Community in Ukum Local Government Area (LGA). This project was executed by Prado Power Ltd under the aegis of the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) by the World Bank and the Rural Electrification Agency (REA). The 350KW mini-grid, backed by $1 million from DART, will connect over 7,000 households and commercial, institutional, and productive use customers in the Community to a reliable and sustainable power supply.
Washima Mede, CEO of Prado Power stated, “Prado Power is excited to have collaborated with All On and GEAPP through the DART programme to deliver this monumental project in Chito community. Prior to this development, Chito had existed without access to electricity and residents found it very challenging to conduct their business activities sustainably. We have no doubt that this mini-grid project would unleash the vast economic potential of the Community as it provides constant electricity, creating an enabling environment for residents to live and carry on their businesses sustainably. This will consequently create a lasting socio-economic impact and significantly boost the livelihoods in the community and its surroundings.”
Prado Power in a bid to catalyse the productive use of electricity in Chito has established an Agro-processing Hub in the Community, in partnership with an agri-tech Company, Farm Warehouse Limited. The hub will facilitate the deployment of ready-to-use Productive Use Equipment on a Lease-to-Own model, primarily focusing on women to promote female gender inclusion and empowerment.
The additional funding allocated to the DART program seeks to broaden its scope. This includes increasing the available investment ticket size per developer and extending coverage to encompass small-scale Commercial and Industrial (C&I) developers, Solar Energy Systems (SES), and Standalone Solar for Productive Use (SSSPU) deployments.