BGFA is now launching its third Call for Proposals (BGFA3) inviting interested off-grid energy companies to compete for funding with the aim of engaging them to develop new sustainable businesses and thereby accelerate access to affordable and clean off-grid energy at scale for customers in peri-urban and rural areas of Uganda.
BGFA is a results-based funding facility established to incentivise the private energy sector to provide affordable, clean, high quality off-grid energy services to underserved people in rural and peri-urban areas in Sub-Saharan African countries.
BGFA3 is financed by Denmark and Sweden. Power Africa, an initiative administered by USAID, is providing an in-kind technical assistance contribution to BGFA.
BGFA3 is targeted at incentivising private energy companies to accelerate access to off-grid modern and affordable energy. Further information on the Pre-Qualification eligibility criteria and minimum requirements can be found in the attached BGFA3 Pre-Qualification Guidelines.
Nature of the financing
The BGFA approach provides direct, results-based financing to energy service providers to overcome early structural challenges in the off-grid market, build business and investor confidence and proactively mobilise various types of downstream investment and debt financing.
To be successful, Applicants are expected to provide a substantial amount of their own financing as well as mobilise co-financing.
In 2020/21, progress towards the energy access objective (Sustainable Development Goal 7) has been jeopardised by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit African economies and, in particular, its poorest and most vulnerable communities hard. BGFA3 seeks to support much-needed connections and the implementation of decentralised energy solutions to mitigate the impact of the virus and promote a green recovery.
The expectation is that up to 600,000 off-grid ESSs will be established during the project implementation period, which would benefit more than 3 million people in peri-urban and rural areas. The indicative individual contract ticket size is expected to be EUR 1.2–4 million, depending on the Lot.
Applicants and project proposals will be evaluated in two phases:
I. Pre-Qualification stage (this phase) and
II. the Final Application stage.
The current invitation calls for Pre-Qualification applications. Only Applicants whose project proposals pass the Pre-Qualification stage will be invited to submit a full application during the Final Application stage. Final decisions on financing are expected to be made by Spring 2022.
Pre-Qualification applications should be submitted online at the latest by 22 June at 16:00 hrs Helsinki Time (UTC +3 hrs; Closing time). The online intake system and related guidance will be accessible via www.beyondthegrid.africa from 29 April 2021 and the application forms in the online system will be open from 16:00 hrs Helsinki Time (UTC +3 hrs).
Registration and additional information
All communication relating to the Pre-Qualification process will be conducted via the online application intake system, SmartME. It is strongly recommended that Applicants wishing to submit project proposals for pre-qualification register on this application platform at the earliest opportunity.
Registration is done by filling in the name of the Applicant, type and location of the proposed project, contact person and contact e-mail address.
Questions relating to the Pre-Qualification phase can be submitted until 31 May 2021 at 16:00 hrs Helsinki Time (UTC +3 hrs) as set out in the intake system. Applicants are requested to post questions via the SmartME intake system only. Questions and answers will be made available to all Applicants in redacted form on 8 June 2021.