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: email@example.com, +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.
16 June 2017 — The Financial Times (FT) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) awarded CrossBoundary Energy (CBE) the Excellence in Climate Solutions Award for its groundbreaking work to improve the efficiency of solar asset financing across Africa. The Excellence in Climate Solutions award recognizes “a company that across all private sector categories most effectively addresses one or more of the effects of climate change in the context of a developing economy.” Specifically, the judging panel highlighted CBE’s work in “Aggregating investor capital to improve project economics by distributing costs across a portfolio of contracts,” and CBE’s pioneering role in the first industrial PPAs in Kenya, Ghana and Rwanda. CBE shared its award for Excellence in Climate Solutions with co-winner Block Island Wind Farm, and was also among seven nominees for the category of Achievement in Transformational Finance.
Jake Cusack and Tom Flahive, Co-Managing Partners at CBE, were present in London on June 8th to receive the award. “We hope that this is just the beginning and we will be able to take forward a vision of cleaner and cheaper energy for African businesses,” remarked Mr. Cusack. Live video of the awards presentation was streamed via the IFC Facebook page.
“CrossBoundary Energy is changing the trajectory of solar in Africa by offering business the option of cleaner, more affordable energy at no upfront cost," said Matt Tilleard, CrossBoundary’s Co-Managing Partner in Nairobi. “The Power Purchase Agreements available to firms in Europe and the U.S. are now accessible to African businesses, which suffer from higher energy prices and higher cost of capital.”
FT and IFC host the Transformational Business Awards each year to highlight ground-breaking, commercially viable solutions to today’s development challenges. For 2017, special attention was given to products and services that harness disruptive technologies and business models to achieve their sustainability objectives. “We wanted to shine the spotlight on companies that are doing things that are new and scalable, and ideally have started to move across countries,” said Samir Abhyankar, Partner at TPG Growth and member of the awards judging panel. “Companies nominated this year are providing greater amounts of finance to segments of the economy that so far haven’t had much access to finance; things like solar, climate, and energy.”
A total of 148 entries were received from 152 organisations involving projects in more than 84 countries.
“The superb short-lists this year reflected the catalytic impact of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals on initiatives to address climate change and alleviate poverty. It was not easy to choose a winner among such strong nominees,” said Robert Armstrong, chief editorial writer of the Financial Times and co-chair of the awards judging panel.
“The FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards have evolved over the years to provide innovative solutions to pressing development challenges,'' said Nena Stoiljkovic, Vice President for Blended Finance and Partnerships, IFC, and judging panel co-chair. “Most recently, the awards have focused on the central role for the private sector in meeting the SDGs, by combining capital, innovative thinking, new partnerships-creating opportunities where they are needed most in emerging markets.
About CrossBoundary Energy
CrossBoundary Energy (CBE) is Africa's first dedicated fund for commercial and industrial (C&I) solar and owner of the largest portfolio of financed C&I solar assets on the continent. Founded in 2015, it has raised over $10M in committed capital to deploy in the form of solar power purchase agreements and leases with C&I customers. CrossBoundary Energy’s portfolio includes the first commercial power purchase agreements in Kenya, Rwanda, and Ghana, and its project pipeline includes commitments from leading Fortune 500 multinationals operating in Africa. CBE’s partners include SolarAfrica, the USAID Power Africa Initiative, the Shell Foundation, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Blue Haven Initiative, Treehouse Investments, Ceniarth and multiple other private investors in the CrossBoundary Energy I fund. The CrossBoundary Energy team is based in Nairobi, Kenya.