Facebook, Microsoft Corp., and the investment firm of Allotrope Partners have joined forces to establish a facility to finance energy access projects in underserved communities around the globe. The companies are hoping to raise $50 million between 2018-2020 to fund projects that expand energy access in East Africa, India and Indonesia.
The Microgrid Investment Accelerator (MIA) was launched April 3, 2017, at the UN Sustainable Energy For All Forum. A microgrid is a miniature power system that operates independently of a national grid.
According to a press release from MIA, the facility will support the rapid growth and acceleration of the energy access microgrid market through an ecosystem approach to finance. This approach will emphasize partnerships for productive end uses of energy (such as agricultural equipment and household appliances) and with accelerators and incubators, other financial intermediaries, and larger institutional sources of capital.
“Distributed renewable energy microgrids hold significant potential as a key driver to increase energy access for un-electrified populations. We designed MIA to address this need and to increase private sector investment flows into the microgrid market segment,” stated Marc Stuart, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Allotrope Partners.
Founding partners Facebook, Microsoft and California-based Allotrope have joined with more than a dozen implementing partners and observers to form the MIA. Other participants include cKers Finance in India, CrossBoundary Energy in Africa, California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), Electric Capital Management, Morrison & Foerster LLP and GivePower.