Support financing for mini grid developers can be available through the Rural Energy Fund (REF), which is managed by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA). REF support is technology neutral. Projects should comprise a least cost approach to serving new areas with electricity, i.e. a least cost solution among comparable alternatives. Categories of rural energy projects that can be supported are:
The Project Developer submits a Concept Note to the REA in order to get a preliminary assessment of whether the planned project is eligible for support from the REA or not. The Concept note should, inter alia, include:
The Concept Note submitted is assessed by REA in order to ensure that it is aligned with the REA mandate and objectives and that it is eligible for support. REA will provide feedback to the Project Developer on the Concept note within one (1) month from the submission date.
The project will be categorized according to the same project sizes used by EWURA if applicable and in other cases by investment costs and technique.
The Project developer prepares a pre-feasibility study and a draft business plan for the proposed project to determine the project’s technical, economic, financial, social, environmental and operational viability. It should be noted that only projects which are non-financially viable without capital support but otherwise viable shall be eligible to receive capital support from REA.
The project developer submits a Grant Application Form to the REA together with the pre-feasibility study and draft business plan in order to get a provisional reply from the REA on the indicative amount that the REA could make available for the project. These three documents comprise the project package submitted by the Project Developer in order to grant access to financial support by REA.