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USTDA to boost celerity supply in Sierra Leone

September 11, 2019

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) yesterday announced the award of a grant to the Ministry of Energy for a feasibility study to provide technical and financial analysis necessary to implement approximately 45 mini grids in Sierra Leone, a release from US embassy stated.

The electricity sub-sector in Sierra Leone faces challenges with less than 13% access.

 Efficiency and access are constrained by high technical losses on the transmission and distribution network, which are further compounded by low voltage quality due to overburdening of infrastructure by illicit users.

This grant will support a private sector model for off-grid development that West African countries can replicate. USTDA’s study will also increase energy access for more than 8,000 rural households and many businesses in Sierra Leone, while creating new export opportunities for American energy technologies. The study will be conducted by U.S. firm WindGen Power USA, Inc.

“Sierra Leone has significant energy needs, and it is truly rewarding for USTDA to work with the Ministry of Energy and WindGen on private sector solutions that will impact thousands of lives,” said Thomas R. Hardy, USTDA’s Acting Director. “Off-grid energy development will increase rural access to affordable, reliable electricity, as well as lead to new opportunities for innovative American companies to support a growing sector in Sierra Leone.”

Ambassador Maria Brewer said the grant agreement “shows how the donor community can build upon each other’s’ good works to create the kind of environment that can attract private sector investment, and ultimately help Sierra Leone become self-sufficient” WindGen Power USA, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Sam Slaughter said, “We’re thrilled to be developing a new generation of mini-grids in Sierra Leone for the Ministry of Energy, made possible by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. We believe a decentralized approach to energy infrastructure in Sierra Leone is the ideal complement to the expanding national utility. These mini-grids will help accelerate rural energy access and enable the Ministry of Energy to meet their ambitious electrification goals.” She said.

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