Moyi Power is the name of three newly created companies that will develop, build and operate hybrid-solar power generation and distribution infrastructure in the DRC. Moyi Power will supply electricity to households and businesses in three cities in northern DRC (Gemena, Bumba and Isiro) with a combined population of around 500,000. The cities currently have no grid connection, and struggle to access reliable, affordable and clean power.
Moyi Power was born out of the Essor A2E Initiative (“Essor Project”). The Essor Project is a UK government-funded process which aims to improve access to electricity in isolated towns in DRC by building and operating greenfield, hybrid-solar grids. A Gridworks-led consortium was selected as the winning bidder for the Essor Project after an international tender process run by the Project Coordination and Management Unit (UCM) of the DRC’s Ministry of Hydraulic Resources and Electricity. The project has generated significant interest from the development finance community because it provides a replicable model with the scale and regulatory underpinning to attract further investment in green field utilities across Africa, and to reach many more customers than traditional, small-scale mini grids.
Moyi Power follows a distributed renewable energy model that uses isolated local grids to distribute power to homes and businesses from renewable sources. The company will operate independently of the national grid, under a long-term, private sector concession structure. Moyi Power signed a concession contract for the Project with the Government of DRC on 3 June 2021. Moyi is a word for sun in Lingala, one of the four national languages of DRC, and the main language of the three cities that will be served by the company.
The initial investment is at least US$100 million, funded with a mixture of equity from the consortium, debt provided by development finance institutions (DFIs) and capital grants.
The development and financing process is expected to take around 14 months.
18-month construction period of the power plants and associated distribution networks in each of the three cities.
The Gridworks-led consortium that has created Moyi Power includes Eranove, a multi-utility company that operates power generation plants and utilities in a number of countries including Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon and Togo, and AEE Power, a power developer and construction company with extensive and long-term activities in DRC. The initial investment for the three sites will be at least US$100 million, funded with a mixture of equity from the consortium, debt provided by development finance institutions (DFIs) and capital grants from donors and DFIs.
The development and financing process is expected to take at least 14 months from June 2021. At the conclusion of financing and other contractual arrangements, Moyi Power will then begin an 18-month construction period of the power plants and associated distribution networks in each of the three cities following which it will then begin operations to provide power for the twenty-year operating period of the concessions.
Moyi Power expects to connect almost 23,000 households and commercial customers across the three sites in the first 5 years of full operation.
It will initially deploy 14MW of photovoltaic panels; 40MWh battery storage and 4MW diesel generation.
Moyi aims to double its operating capacity every 3 to 5 years.
“Moyi Power will provide reliable and affordable electricity to half a million people in a country with one of the world’s lowest rates of electrification. The company will be a catalyst, leading to economic growth and job creation, quality of life improvements and a cut in carbon emissions through the displacement of diesel generation. It will also bring power to hundreds of thousands of people who do not currently have an electricity connection.”