SolarNow financing facility aiming to reach 70% of rural Uganda with off-grid systems


Having been structured as a bankruptcy-remote special purpose vehicle, thanks to the facility, a larger portion of the Ugandan population will soon have access to off-grid electricity through the installation of these solar home systems.

This facility is the second of SolarNow’s structured asset finance instruments, with this particular one known as SAFI. SAFI has been built as a bankruptcy-remote special purpose vehicle for solar companies installing systems throughout the country through a pay-as-you-go system, and solar leasing models in developing countries. This allows them to expand their reach and give access to energy to a much larger portion of the Ugandan population.

With SunFunder leading the effort, each lender provided $2 million to the facility. Even though this is SolarNow’s second SAFI ( structured asset finance instrument)transaction, it was the first syndicated SAFI to be introduced to the market. SunFunder, while acting as an arranger, lender and facility agent, organized the construction of the facility, hand-in-hand with Oikocredit and alongside coordination with an energy fund that concentrated on energy access, which was further managed by responsAbility Investments acting as co-investors.

This is the fifth transaction SolarNow and SunFunder have completed together, each showing the more sophisticated nature developing with larger and more complex installations.

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The CEO of SolarNow was enthusiastic about the project. “We are thrilled to continue building our fruitful relationship with SunFunder. So far, it has allowed us to focus entirely on our growth and profitability reaching more than 25,000 clients. This new step of our partnership will enable us to continue tackling the massive unmet market opportunity in East Africa of providing affordable energy to millions of off-grid households, and to reach 70% of Uganda’s off-grid population with solar home systems.”

Speaking on behalf of responsAbility, Stefan Issler said: “Access to energy is a core topic when it comes to developing economies. By channelling financing to companies like SolarNow, we actively develop markets and infrastructure, thereby addressing the basic needs of broad sections of the population”

Maite Pina, Investment Officer at Oikocredit said: “With this securitization Oikocredit demonstrated its commitment to supporting SolarNow and Off-grid in the long-term. We see SolarNow as a company that prioritises its customers in order to meet their needs with the right solar products and services. It is also important to us that SolarNow aims to contribute towards Uganda’s development and economy.”

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