Power Africa, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announces grants totaling $2,620,650 to solar energy companies to provide reliable, affordable off-grid electricity to nearly 300 healthcare facilities in sub-Saharan Africa.
Nearly 60 percent of all healthcare facilities in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity, and of those that do, only 34 percent of hospitals and 28 percent of health clinics have reliable, 24-hour access. Energy is critical for powering essential devices, medical and sterilization equipment, diagnostics, cold storage for vaccines and medication, information technology, and lights to enable the delivery of continuous health care services. Efficient health services and responses to diseases — including COVID-19 — depend on reliable access to electricity.
In support of the accelerated provision of off-grid solar energy to healthcare facilities in sub-Saharan Africa, Power Africa is awarding grants to the following solar energy companies:
- Havenhill Synergy Ltd. (Nigeria)
- KYA-Energy Group (Togo)
- Muhanya Solar Ltd. (Zambia)
- Nanoé (Madagascar)
- OffGridBox (Rwanda)
- OnePower (Lesotho)
- PEG Solar (Ghana)
- SolarWorks! (Mozambique)
- Zuwa Energy (Malawi)
These companies will utilize Power Africa funding to provide off-grid solar electricity solutions to 288 healthcare facilities across the nine countries represented.
“Solar energy holds great potential to expand and improve health care delivery in sub-Saharan Africa, and off-grid solar technology offers a clean, affordable, and smart solution to electrify healthcare facilities located beyond the reach of national electricity grids,” said Mark Carrato, Power Africa Acting Coordinator. “Power Africa’s experience shows that off-grid solar energy systems can be rapidly deployed to even the most rural facilities.”
“These awards demonstrate what we can accomplish when the public and private sectors join together to break down the barriers to reliable electricity for rural healthcare facilities,” said Chris Milligan, Counselor to USAID, on September 22, 2020 during a virtual event announcing the grant awardees.
ABOUT THE GRANTEES AND HOW THEY WILL POWER HEALTHCARE IN RURAL COMMUNITIES
Havenhill Synergy will electrify 21 rural healthcare facilities in Oyo State, Nigeria, using an energy-as-a-service business model. The facilities are mostly within peri-urban communities with limited reliable electricity access. Havenhill will provide long-term operation and maintenance of the solar energy systems.
KYA-Energy Group will electrify 20 health centers in Togo. In addition to electricity access, KYA will provide automated solar hand washing stations for infection prevention and solar phone charging stations for generating additional income.
In partnership with the Churches Health Association of Zambia, Muhanya Solar Ltd. will provide electricity access to seven rural health facilities in Zambia. Muhanya will also electrify staff housing to generate revenue for the operation and maintenance of the solar systems installed at the health facilities.
Nanoé will electrify 35 rural health facilities in the Ambanja and Ambilobe districts of Madagascar. The company will deploy nano-grids with the health facilities as anchors and connections running to staff housing. Electricity will be sold to the surrounding communities to generate income for the operation and maintenance of the nano-grids.
With their containerized solution, OffGridBox will provide renewable energy and clean water to six rural clinics in Rwanda. The company will also set up a pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) business model, selling electricity and clean water to the surrounding communities.
OnePower will electrify seven rural health facilities in Lesotho, using the facilities as anchor loads for mini-grids. In addition to powering the health facilities, the mini-grids will provide electricity access for rural communities served by the facilities.
PEG Solar will provide electricity access to 91 rural community healthcare facilities in Ghana. PEG will adopt a private sector approach to energy service delivery for public health facilities, enabling rapid electrification of the facilities while significantly reducing the upfront financial burden of transitioning to solar energy.
SolarWorks! will electrify 92 rural healthcare facilities in Mozambique’s Sofala province. To ensure sustainability of the systems beyond the grant implementation period, SolarWorks! will cover operational and maintenance costs of the solar energy systems for five years.
Zuwa Energy will install solar energy solutions in nine health facilities in Malawi. Electricity access will enable the facilities to provide higher-quality health services throughout the day and more comprehensive services at night. Additionally, Zuwa will electrify staff housing with the aim to increase staff wellbeing and retention rates.
“Through these grants, USAID is investing in a set of pilot projects that demonstrate how healthcare electrification can be delivered in a commercially sustainable manner, with strong private sector involvement,” said David Stonehill, the Lead for Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid initiative. “These grants demonstrate the Power Africa model in action: We use a modest amount of public funding to de-risk transactions, thus opening the door for private investment.”