The Overseas Private Investment Corporation has recognised our investment platform for commercial and industrial solar in Sub-Saharan Africa, CrossBoundary Energy, as a pioneer in the provision of solar energy across the continent. The debt financing from OPIC, allows us to extend the provision of affordable, cleaner and more reliable energy across Sub-Saharan Africa and bolster the mission of Power Africa.
Kathleen Jean-Pierre, our Energy Vision & Delivery Lead, joined the Raising Off-Grid Equity session at the Africa Infrastructure Forum's Power & Renewables Meeting Africa last week. She and Ben Good of Energy 4 Impact shared insights from our Mini-Grid Innovation Lab and reflected on financing trends in the off-grid sector. It was a loaded panel, also featuring Laura Sundblad of GOGLA, Ogbemi Ofuya of Helios Investment Partners, Dr. Nii Darko Asante from the Ghana Energy Commission, Alex Katon of InfraCo Africa, and Raphael Tilot of ENGIE – Africa.
Nairobi, Washington DC
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, has committed $6 million in debt financing to CrossBoundary Energy, Sub Saharan Africa’s first investment fund for commercial and industrial solar.
CrossBoundary Energy provides solar power to African enterprises. Clients sign long term power purchase agreements to purchase solar electricity without contributing upfront investment or taking technical risk on construction and maintenance. CrossBoundary Energy finances, builds, owns and operates the captive solar system for the client. The client receives cheaper and cleaner electricity.
OPIC’s commitment will contribute to the funding of six captive solar PV projects currently under construction or development by CrossBoundary Energy. The projects total over 5.75 megawatts of capacity, and are located in Kenya, Rwanda, and Ghana. The clients are leading multinational and local companies.
“CrossBoundary Energy has been the pioneer in providing solar energy directly to commercial and industrial businesses in Africa, said OPIC President and CEO, Ray W. Washburne. “We’re pleased to be supporting them to expand the provision of cleaner and cheaper power that helps African enterprises grow and bolsters the mission of Power Africa.”
CrossBoundary Energy was established in 2015 as the first investment platform dedicated to the financing of captive commercial and industrial (C&I) solar PV projects in Africa. CrossBoundary Energy now has over 28.8 MWp of C&I projects under operation, construction or awarded – the largest portfolio of such assets in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“A lack of reliable and affordable power is holding back private sector-led development in manufacturing and other large industries in Africa,” says CrossBoundary Group co-Managing Partner, Matthew Tilleard. “This commitment from OPIC provides us with additional, affordable financing that in turn allows companies across Sub-Saharan Africa to benefit from affordable solar that delivers energy savings, business growth and a lower carbon footprint.”
Jake Cusack, co-Managing Partner of the CrossBoundary Group, added that “by offering Power Purchase Agreements, CrossBoundary Energy takes complete responsibility for project financing, delivery, and management of technical risk of the solar project. During the contract term, we can also provide storage, energy efficiency, and electricity generation upgrades for our clients, ensuring businesses maintain fully-optimized energy systems to fuel their long-term growth.” He noted that “OPIC’s commitment will assist with financing an important part of CrossBoundary Energy’s current portfolio as it continues to build out its commercial pipeline across Sub-Saharan Africa.”
OPIC has been a longstanding partner of CrossBoundary Energy, having provided a grant in 2014 through the U.S. Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative (ACEF) to support the establishment of CrossBoundary Energy.
About The CrossBoundary Group
The CrossBoundary Group’s mission is to unlock capital to drive sustainable growth in developing and frontier markets.
CrossBoundary Advisory provides a range of investment due diligence and transaction services. It has advised on over US$450 million of closed transactions across a range of sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa and in frontier markets globally.
CrossBoundary Energy was launched in 2015 and is Sub-Saharan Africa's first investment platform for commercial and industrial solar. It provides solar electricity to African enterprises, through fully-financed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). CrossBoundary Energy now has over 28.8 MWp of C&I projects under operation, construction or awarded; the largest portfolio of this class of assets in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In total, the CrossBoundary Group has a team of over 50 people located at offices in Bamako, Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi, Dubai, New York and Washington, D.C.
Femi Fadugba, our Associate Principal was honored to speak at the third edition of Unlocking Solar Capital Africa in Kigali, Rwanda. He discussed CrossBoundary Energy’s landmark solar project with Unilever Tea Kenya; Unilever’s first solar services agreement in Africa. Thanks to Solarplaza and GOGLA for organizing and inviting us to be part of such great discussions.
Great article by Liesel Pritzker Simmons, co-Founder and Principal at Blue Haven Initiative in The Economist! Thanks to Blue Haven Initiative for their continued support of CrossBoundary
During today’s knowledge exchange on blended finance, Kathleen Jean-Pierre, our Energy Vision and Delivery, presented as part of a panel with Duncan Onyango, Team Leader & Investment Lead at Sustainable Urban Economic Development Programme (SUED), Lilian Mramba, Regional Director for Africa, Grassroots Business Fund, and Njeri Kirumbi, Senior Investment Officer, BlueOrchard Finance Ltd. Ladé Araba, Africa Region Representative at Convergence Blended Finance moderated the session. The panel used case studies to show how blended finance can be used to deliver competitive returns and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
We were pleased to co-host an event on Blended Finance at our Nairobi office last week, with Convergence Blended Finance, the global network for blended finance. We could not have done it without our co-host, Ladé Araba, Africa Region Representative at Convergence Blended Finance. It was great to see the platform they are building, learn about the latest developments and trends in blended finance and network with like-minded individuals and organizations.
Our Nairobi office was pleased to host the UNICEF delegation of Kenyan and Somali youth activists and entrepreneurs to discuss our work in investment and renewable energy. We were represented by Matt Tilleard our co-Managing Partner, Gabriel Davies our Head of Energy Access and Richard Stanford our Senior Engineer.
James Shoetan, our East Africa Business Development Manager, was on a panel at the AIX Nairobi Power & Renewables Executive Briefing with Elijah Isabu, Sunref, Kenya Association of Manufacturers; Andrew Githaiga, SunFunder; Mutuma Marangu, Advisor & Private Investor and Ameet Shah, Astonfield Renewables. Chaired by Jon Marks, Cross-border Information, the panel analysed how commercial and industrial consumers across Africa are developing and financing their own generation capacity and its likely growth.
Kathleen Jean-Pierre, Vision & Delivery Lead, CrossBoundary Energy was on a panel at the Bloomberg NEF Summit telling the audience about our 30MW African Commercial and Industrial Solar pipeline. Simbarashe Mhuriro, Oxygen Africa, Chris Weston, Aggreko, Charlotte Aubin, GreenWish Partners and Antoine Prédour, responsAbility Investments AG were also panellists. Takehiro Kawahara, Bloomberg NEF, moderated
Richard Stanford our Senior Engineer was invited to present at the Strathmore Energy Research Centre to a group of fourteen, that were undergoing training to obtain their T3 Grid-Tie Solar License. He discussed CrossBoundary Energy’s activities in Africa’s Commercial & Industrial solar sector, and also took them through some of the key technical focus areas of early stage project development.
At EAVCA’s 4th Annual Conference, Matt Tilleard, our co-Managing Partner, addressed the role of development and philanthropic funds in unlocking commercial capital for renewable investment and the varying risk/return profiles of different renewable generation sources; during the Renewable Energy Panel. The panel moderated by Hamilton Harrison & Mathews, also featured panelists from Astonfield Renewables, Omidyar Network and SunFunder
Today, Jake Cusack, our co-Managing Partner, gave a talk at the Center for Global Development Power Lunch in Washington D.C., on our work in distributed generation in Africa and how we’re expanding in rural electrification. His host was Todd Moss, Senior Fellow, at the Center for Global Development.
- Renewable Energy Veteran to Boost Efforts to Bring Capital to Frontier Markets -
WASHINGTON, DC and NAIROBI, KENYA, May 31, 2018 – Today, The CrossBoundary Group is announcing the appointment of renewable energy veteran Sebastian Deschler as its General Counsel.
The CrossBoundary Group is a leading mission-driven investment firm. CrossBoundary Advisory provides a range of due diligence and transaction services across frontier and emerging economies, with a strong focus on making a positive impact and return. It has advised on over US$350 million of closed transactions, across a range of sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa and in frontier markets globally. In 2015, The CrossBoundary Group launched CrossBoundary Energy Fund I, Sub-Saharan Africa's first investment fund for commercial and industrial solar.
Matt Tilleard, Co-Managing Partner, The CrossBoundary Group says, “Sebastian brings experience that will be vital to us, as we continue to forge partnerships that make a positive difference in the geographies in which we operate. His 20-year experience in international transactions and the renewable energy space will be especially important in helping us to scale up CrossBoundary’s energy activities so that we can realise our vision of providing access to affordable, reliable solar energy to Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Mr. Deschler previously served for almost four years as the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of TerraForm Power (Nasdaq: TERP). At TerraForm Power, he was a member of the senior executive teams that grew the company from concept to the publicly traded owner and operator of up to 3,000 MW of renewable energy power plants mainly in North America. He was later instrumental in TerraForm Power’s successful efforts to overcome the effects of the bankruptcy of its former sponsor, SunEdison, and the sale of a controlling interest in TerraForm Power to Brookfield Asset Management.
Prior to TerraForm Power, Sebastian played a leading role in the international expansion of SunEdison, at the time a global pioneer in the development, financing, construction and operation of renewable energy power plants worldwide. During his six-year tenure at SunEdison, most recently as the Vice President and Head of Legal, EMEA and Latin America, Sebastian led a number of large and innovative debt and equity transactions that have been recognized as setting precedents for the industry. “Helping to bring the first significant solar energy projects and the related long-term international investment to new markets was one of the most rewarding experiences in my career, especially in countries like Chile which has since become a regional leader in solar energy” said Mr. Deschler of his time at SunEdison.
Before joining SunEdison, Mr. Deschler was an attorney at major law firms in Washington, DC, handling project finance, regulatory and corporate matters.
Speaking on his appointment, Mr. Deschler says, “I am excited to join The CrossBoundary Group and look forward to working with its dynamic team and contributing to the unique way CrossBoundary combines capital, ideas and partnerships to help promote access to both capital and sustainable power, some of the biggest barriers to economic growth across Sub-Saharan Africa and other frontier markets.”
For media enquiries: Donald Ouma: firstname.lastname@example.org, +254 722 481 975
CrossBoundary Energy was featured in a CSIS report on blended finance case studies that looks at how intermediary organizations help clients to source deals.
Pieter Joubert, CrossBoundary Energy’s Regional Portfolio Lead for East Africa, recently featured as a keynote speaker at the German Chamber of Commerce’s Workshop on Small-Scale Ticket Financing for Environmental Technologies in Nairobi.
Kathleen Jean Pierre, Due Diligence & IR Lead for CrossBoundary Energy, recently spoke at the Africa Energy Forum Panel in Kampala.
CrossBoundary Energy has opened its first office and legal entity in Accra, Ghana. The local office will allow CBE to expand its offering of financed solar solutions to businesses in the region, building on its portfolio of Commercial & Industrial solar assets, which is now the largest in Africa.