Independent private equity fund manager Metier has announced a $25-million investment into clean-energy company Broadreach Energy, which specialises in deploying renewable-energy and energy efficiency projects in the commercial and industrial (C&I) sectors of various African countries.
The investment has been made through Metier’s second Sustainable Capital Fund, or MSC II, which has received $133-million in commitments to support renewable-energy, energy efficiency, water and waste-management investments in sub-Saharan Africa.
Broadreach Energy is the first investment for MSC II.
Broadreach Energy MD Adam Bekker says the company now has equity worth some R450-million, depending on exchange rates, to deploy into renewables and energy efficiency projects over the coming five years.
“Our target is to fully deploy that allocation,” he tells Engineering News, adding that, together with the use of gearing, the funding should translate into a portfolio of over R1-billion.
“We see that coming from a mix of project sizes, from smaller, easily replicable C&I projects to fully project-financed, utility scale projects.”
Founded in 2014, Broadreach Energy currently has a portfolio comprising 17 separate solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy-efficiency projects, totalling around 7.5 MWp.
“We are focused on C&I renewable-energy and energy efficiency projects, as well as small-scale utility projects. Predominantly we work with private offtakers, and the size of our projects range from about 80 kWp at the lower end, up to 20 MWp at the upper end.”
The portfolio includes on-grid solar PV installations, hybrid systems that integrate solar PV systems with batteries and generators, as well as some off-grid solutions.
Its energy efficiency solutions, meanwhile, include demand management and efficient lighting.
Bekker says the company has adopted a flexible approach to power purchase agreements (PPAs), with offerings tailored to the needs of the client and the economics of the project.
“Our PPAs range anywhere from five to 25 years and can either be on a take-or-pay, or pay-as-you-go basis. We also offer a solar-lease product, which is a lease-to-own arrangement.”
The company’s current clients are located in South Africa and Namibia, but it is currently implementing its first project in Rwanda.
“Our mandate is for sub-Saharan Africa, but our targets are South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. We will take a measured approach to geographic expansion and currently our focus is on building out our portfolio in South Africa, Namibia and Rwanda.”
Broadreach Energy is also keen to pursue more small utility scale projects of up to 20 MWp in size and it is also working on models and technologies with the aim of broadening its reach into the residential sector.
“With Metier on board we have the ability to achieve our goal of building a leading African clean energy company,” he says.
MSC II’s managing principal Marc Immerman says Metier looks forward to working with the Broadreach Energy team to grow their business and generate attractive renewable-energy investment opportunities targeting C&I customers across Africa.
Broadreach, he notes, is one of the pioneers of PPA’s in the C&I solar PV sector in South Africa and has developed, advised on, or invested in projects totalling over 30 MW.