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OPIC approves $15m loan for SunFunder project

The US federal government financing institution, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), has endorsed a $15 million loan aimed at supporting solar energy in selected east African countries, to be spearheaded by SunFunder.

SunFunder is a solar finance corporation, based in San Francisco and Tanzania, targeting to unlock capital for solar energy in emerging markets.

The SunFunder ‘Beyond The Grid Solar Fund’, is a new investment vehicle that will provide receivables financing, project financing, and inventory/working capital loans to the manufacturers, distributors, installers and retailers that provide solar energy in Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Zambia, OPIC stated in a statement.

Other countries include: Philippines, Uganda, Ghana, Pakistan and India.

The types of solar products will range from portable solar powered lamps to 200W solar home systems to 500kW diesel replacement systems.

OPIC drives Sunfunder’s work

SunFunder seeks to finance $1billion in solar loans globally by the year 2020, and has so far financed a total of $8.7 million worth of loans to 23 solar companies in 10 countries.

Ryan Levinson, SunFunder’s Founder and CEO commented, “Solar energy is the most viable solution to replace dirty and unreliable fossil fuel energy sources and to increase energy access for those who really need it.

“To support solar’s growth in emerging markets, access to sector-specific financing is key. OPIC’s investment in SunFunder’s Beyond The Grid Solar Fund will help expand our ability to respond to the financing gap that exists for off-grid and grid-deficit solar.”

OPIC’s president and CEO, Elizabeth Littlefield, said, “OPIC is proud to partner with SunFunder in delivering innovative financing solutions for off-grid and grid-deficit solar energy in developing countries.”

Littlefield added: “The Fund will facilitate access to financing by companies that provide clean energy products and services.”

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.