The Grantee invites submission of qualifications and proposal data (collectively referred to as the “Proposal”) from interested U.S. firms that are qualified on the basis of experience and capability to execute a Feasibility Study (“Study”) to determine the technical, financial, and economic viability of building and operating decentralized solar mini-grids to support energy access for up to one-hundred unelectrified communities in Côte d’Ivoire.
Approximately 68 percent of rural households in Côte d’Ivoire – 1.7 million households – have no access to electricity. In recent years, the Government of Côte d’Ivoire (“GCDI”) has been working to extend the grid to all villages in Côte d’Ivoire that have more than 500 inhabitants and are within 10 km of the medium-voltage national grid through the National Program for Rural Electrification Program (“PRONER”). Despite PRONER’s progress, the GCDI recognizes that grid extension is insufficient to achieve universal electrification. There are 76,000 unelectrified permanent settlements located more than 10 km from the grid; in Côte d’Ivoire these communities are called “campements” and are generally characterized by 50 to 1,200 or more households involved in agricultural production (e.g. cocoa, cashew, cotton). The cost of grid extension to these campements is prohibitive, and therefore an off-grid electrification strategy is necessary for energy to reach this significant part of Côte d’Ivoire’s population.
In December 2019, the GCDI adopted the National Off-grid Electrification Action Plan (“Off-grid Action Plan”) to electrify these campement communities. The Off-grid Action Plan assessed approximately 1.12 million households in Côte d’Ivoire living in 79,553 campements where grid extension would be too costly. The Off-grid Action Plan was informed by a detailed geospatial analysis (“Geospatial Analysis”) by Power Africa that mapped out metrics, such as the size of communities and the level of economic activity, and helped determine which communities would be best suited to various off-grid solutions.
MPEER is eager to implement its Off-grid Action Plan and has requested USTDA assistance to support a Study for the first large-scale application of solar mini-grids in Côte d’Ivoire to electrify campements. The Project seeks to electrify up to 100 of the most promising campements in terms of expected energy demand, community size, and location, including distance from the grid. The Project campements will be located in five sub-regions of Côte d’Ivoire: Tchologo, Sud-Comoé, Bounkani, Béré, and HautSassandra (see map below). Each campement has a population ranging from 50 to 1,068 households, with a total of approximately 192,000 individuals to be electrified through the Project.
MPEER envisions the solar mini-grids for these campements to electrify households as well as local schools, health clinics, and commercial activities (e.g. telecommunication towers, mills, water pumping, commercial refrigeration, irrigation). Each mini-grid is expected to range in size from 50-100 kW, and may service more than one community. The Project is expected to result in approximately 6.4 to 8 MWs of new renewable energy generation.
About the Grantee
The proposed grantee is formally the Ministère de l’Economie et des Finances of Côte d’Ivoire, as the official entity in Côte d’Ivoire authorized to sign grants on behalf of the government, but MPEER would be the Beneficiary and would implement the Project through its Direction Générale de l’Energie (“DGE”). MPEER is the entity in Côte d’Ivoire responsible for achieving the country’s electrification goals. MPEER has a successful track record of working with development finance institutions to achieve its goals.
About the Study
MPEER has chosen an initial list of 100 campements informed by the Geospatial Analysis. The U.S. contractor and the MPEER will have the opportunity to modify the final list of campements before proceeding to site assessments and technical analysis.
The Study would include detailed energy audits for each of the 100 campements, quantifying potential customers, estimating current and future power demand, and
determining ability and willingness to pay of potential customers. It would also develop the initial technical designs for the solar mini-grids and their associated distribution systems. An economic and financial analysis for the Project would be included, as well as preliminary environmental and social impact assessments, a U.S. source of supply analysis, a development impact assessment, and a detailed implementation plan. The Study would also include a comparative analysis of various mini-grid business models (e.g. public, private, franchisee, public-private) and make recommendations for project management during and after implementation to support the sustainability of the Project. Importantly, the Study would also include the drafting of tendering documents for the mini-grid developers that would include equipment quality standards and follow a lifecycle cost analysis and best-value determination, helping ensure that U.S. companies would be competitive for Project implementation.
The U.S. firm selected will be paid in U.S. dollars from a US$ 969,825 grant to the Grantee from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.