Empower completes $74m equity raise from CFM, Norfund and Janeiro Energy – makes first solar investments in Morocco and Nigeria
01 Dec 2022

With the successful completion of the USD74 million equity fund-raising led by Climate Fund Managers (CFM) and including Norfund and Janeiro Energy, Empower New Energy announces the execution of two new solar investments totaling USD 3 million in Morocco and Nigeria.

The equity raise and these first projects pave the way for Empower New Energy (Empower) to develop, finance, own and operate an initial 150 MW of solar projects in Africa over the next four years, transforming Empower into one of the leading renewable investment platform companies serving the commercial and industrial(C&I) sector in Africa. The investment of USD 74 million will enable the company to deliver approximately 240 GWh of clean electricity produced locally, avoid more than 200,000 tons of CO2 per year and create or protect approximately 15,000 jobs. As an impact investor, 1% of the revenues generated by Empower’s projects will be deployed into a community development programme focused on delivering high impact in socially disadvantaged communities in Africa.

“Africa needs more than a tripling of yearly investment to meet its CO2 mitigation targets and energy needs. We are thrilled by the opportunity to work with CFM, Norfund and our other investors to scale up local solar and hybrid power plants in Africa,” says Terje Osmundsen, founder and CEO of Empower New Energy.

“Climate Investor One has been a strong supporter of the commercial and industrial (C & I) solar sector throughout Asia, where it has successfully invested in platforms with over 700 MW of additional capacity. Through our investment in Empower New Energy we are committed to replicating this model and its benefits on the African continent, supporting Empowers ambition to become a leading C&I Platform for Africa.” says Sebastian Surie of Climate Fund Managers.

“Empower has developed a business model that provides commercial and industrial customers with clean, reliable, and affordable solar energy that help cut both costs and emissions. Norfund is pleased to continue our partnership with Empower and increase our investment in this fundraising round.” adds Anders Blom of Norfund.

The first solar investments, totalling USD 3 million, include Empower’s inaugural project in Morocco in collaboration with local partner, Jet Energy. Empower finances the construction and operation of 4 solar rooftop plants located in Had Soualem, Atlas, Fes and Mediouna totalling 2 MWp under a 16-year offtake contract with the Moroccan agro-alimentary group, Zalar Holding. The investment by Empower into its second project in Nigeria sees a partnership with the Nigerian EPC company, Dartz Technology, to build a 1MWp ground mounted Solar PV installation at the agro-processing factory of Harvest Farms located in Abeokuta, Nigeria, under a 12-year Power Sales Agreement. The two investments are estimated to result in approximately 3000 tons of CO2 saved per year.

For the capital raise, Empower New Energy was advised by Acacia Sustainable Business Advisors

Empower New Energy is an award-winning renewable energy and investment company with a proven business and operating model, focusing on the commercial and industrial sector in Africa. As an impact investor, it brings a unique value proposition in that we serve communities by mobilising international capital, developing projects with local partners and operating assets effectively. Empower implements solar rooftop and ground-mounted Photovoltaic (PV) panels that are vital for climate and environmental protection as well as local economic development. www.empowernewenergy.com

Climate Fund Managers (CFM) is a leading blended finance fund manager dedicated to securing a sustainable future through investing across global emerging markets. CFM has a long-term vision to structure cutting edge financing facilities around thematic areas of climate change mitigation and adaptation, including renewable energy, water and oceans, sustainable land use and sustainable cities. CFM is established as a joint venture between the Dutch development bank FMO and Sanlam InfraWorks – part of the Sanlam Group of South Africa. www.climatefundmanagers.com

Norfund, is the Norwegian Investment Fund for developing countries. Our mission is to create jobs and to improve lives by investing in businesses that drive sustainable development. Norfund is owned and funded by the Norwegian Government and is the Government’s most important tool for strengthening the private sector in developing countries, and for reducing poverty. Norfund’s committed portfolio totals 3.1 billion USD in Sub-Saharan Africa, South-East Asia, and Central America. Norfund has four investment areas: Clean Energy, Financial Institutions, Scalable Enterprises and Green Infrastructure. https://www.norfund.no

Janeiro Energy is an investment fund based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It invests into projects related to the energy transition, and that supports economic development while delivering attractive project returns. Its focus is on projects and companies that have business models that can provide learnings and opportunities of relevance in Brazil. https://www.janeiroenergy.com