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.