USTDA Supports Côte d’Ivoire’s First Major Solar Minigrid Project

News
September 30, 2020

 Yesterday, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant to the Ministère du Pétrole, de l’Énergie et des Énergies Renouvelables of Côte d’Ivoire for a feasibility study of the deployment of solar mini-grids to help provide electricity to nearly 200,000 people. The project represents Côte d’Ivoire’s first use of solar mini-grids to advance its goal of universal energy access by 2025. 

“This project employs innovative energy solutions in support of Côte d’Ivoire’s ambitious universal electrification agenda,” said Todd Abrajano, USTDA’s Chief Operating Officer and Head of Agency. “Additionally, U.S. companies will have key opportunities to supply the goods and services to create the kind of high-quality infrastructure that is built to last.” 

USTDA’s feasibility study will specifically assess the technical, financial and economic viability of deploying solar mini-grids in as many as 100 unelectrified communities in Côte d’Ivoire. These mini-grids will provide electricity to households, local schools, health clinics and other critical infrastructure including cell towers, cold storage and irrigation. 

Abdourahmane Cissé, Ministre du Pétrole de l’Energie et des Energies Renouvelables in Côte d’Ivoire said, “Energy access creates economic development, and Côte d’Ivoire is committed to providing energy access to all of its citizens by 2025. We have worked over the past two years with our partners, including U.S. Power Africa, to develop an Off-grid Action Plan for rural areas. It is time to implement that Off-grid Action Plan, and this grant from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency is critical to take a concrete step forward toward this implementation.” 

“Reliable access to electricity is a precondition to significantly expanding economic growth and opportunity,” said U.S. Ambassador Richard Bell. “U.S. support, through USTDA, for off-grid power solutions represents an important part of our commitment to helping Côte d’Ivoire achieve its goal of universal energy access by 2025.” 

Over the last two years, the U.S. Power Africa team has provided technical assistance to Côte d’Ivoire regarding their off-grid strategy and supported USTDA’s grant award. 

“Power Africa has been deeply invested in the creation of a legal and regulatory framework for mini-grid deployment in Cote d’Ivoire since early 2019. We commend the government for adopting new policies and regulations to enable investment in this important sector. We believe USTDA’s grant support represents a critical next step along a path that leads to a commercially sustainable mini-grid sector, energy access, and economic opportunity for Ivoirians,” said Mark Carrato, Acting Coordinator, Power Africa. 

U.S. businesses interested in submitting proposals for either USTDA-funded feasibility study should visit https://ustda.gov/work/bid-on-an-overseas-project/