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First-of-its-kind commercial solar and battery system commissioned in Sierra Leone to cut carbon emissions and enhance sustainable forestry

The Minister of Energy for Sierra Leone Hon. Alhaji Kanja Sesay, joined by USAID Private Sector Engagement Specialist Ms. Mariama Diallo and representatives for CrossBoundary Energy and Miro Forestry at Miro Forestry’s Tonkolili factory for the commissioning of a flagship 236 kWp solar PV, 389 kWh battery storage facility on 27 September 2022. Photo credit: CrossBoundary Energy
The Minister of Energy for Sierra Leone Hon. Alhaji Kanja Sesay (middle, blue), joined by USAID Private Sector Engagement Specialist Ms. Mariama Diallo (third from left) and representatives of CrossBoundary Energy and Miro Forestry at Miro Forestry’s Tonkolili factory for the commissioning of a flagship 236 kWp solar PV, 389 kWh battery storage facility on 27 September 2022. Photo credit: CrossBoundary Energy

27 September 2022, Sierra Leone (Tonkolili)—A flagship 236 kWp solar PV, 389 kWh battery storage facility commissioned at Miro Forestry and Timber Products’ Tonkolili factory on Tuesday marks a new milestone for sustainability in Sierra Leone’s forestry sector. The renewable energy system will be able to provide 25% of the factory’s power, cutting its reliance on fossil fuels, and delivering substantial savings on Miro’s current power costs.

Minister of Energy for Sierra Leone Hon. Alhaji Kanja Sesay heralded the project, saying: “This new fully financed solar solution will help Miro to move away from costly and polluting generators, and to stand by their broader corporate commitment to sustainability. The installation of a solar and battery system at Miro Forestry today by CrossBoundary Energy is an indication of another, more positive trend underway on the continent, and in our own country. Investors and their financial partners are increasingly calling on leading enterprises to decarbonize and to find ways to leverage renewable energy solutions.”

The project is the first commercial and industrial solar power purchase agreement for a forestry business in West Africa. The CrossBoundary-Miro Forestry solar and battery system is also the first with a Battery and Energy Storage System (BESS).

The Honorable Minister of Energy was joined by Representatives from USAID and leadership from Miro Forestry and CrossBoundary Energy for a button-pushing ceremony to officially commission the site.

CrossBoundary Energy entered the Sierra Leone market in 2017, facilitated through support from a USAID Joint Development Agreement and $1 million in grant funding, which was matched by CrossBoundary Energy.

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Ms. Mariama Diallo, USAID Private Sector Engagement Specialist in Sierra Leone, said: “A reliable source of energy is critical for economic growth. The United States is very proud to have financed this renewable energy project to help Sierra Leonean businesses grow and create jobs. The successful completion of this project is an indicator of a favorable business environment and an example of a public/private partnership model to encourage a wider adoption of renewable power for a green economy.”

Tessa Lee

Tessa Lee, Head of Energy Policy and Regulatory Affairs at CrossBoundary Energy, said: “Our fully financed solar photovoltaic systems for Miro Forestry provide this leading Sierra Leonean business with cheaper, cleaner, reliable solar power with no upfront capital investment. It is an example of small-scale distributed generation and demonstrates how commercial-scale battery energy storage systems are becoming more accessible and affordable, making commercial solar solutions more efficient.”

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Aage Schaanning, Group Chief Financial Officer, KLP, says, “We are pleased to support the further development of CrossBoundary Energy’s portfolio of distributed renewable energy systems and are confident that its strong business practices will boost sustainable economic development on the African continent and deliver stable and predictable returns for KLPs owners.”

About CrossBoundary Energy

CrossBoundary Energy is a leading developer, owner, and operator of distributed renewable energy solutions for businesses across Africa, providing cheaper and cleaner energy through power purchase and lease agreements. CrossBoundary Energy is currently delivering a portfolio of over US$200M of solar renewable energy assets for clients including Unilever, Diageo, Rio Tinto, Heineken, and AB InBev, and was recently recognized by Africa Solar Industry Association as “Solar Company of the Year”.

CrossBoundary Energy is a member company of the CrossBoundary Group, a mission-driven investment firm founded in 2011 and committed to unlocking the power of capital for sustainable growth and strong returns in underserved markets.

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FACTS

  • The 236kWp solar and 389kWh battery installation at Miro Forestry’s Tonkolili factory is a flagship project for CrossBoundary Energy in Sierra Leone.
  • The solar and battery system is the first commercial and industrial solar PPA for a forestry business in West Africa.
  • The green installation was facilitated through a USAID Joint Development Agreement and $1 million in grant funding, which was matched by CrossBoundary Energy.

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