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Project Summary Note - DRC Green Mini-Grid Program - Democratic Republic of Congo
The DRC Green Mini-Grid Program is a programmatic proposal which aims to serve as a pilot to innovative private-led electrification approach with renewable-based mini-grid solutions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – and thereby bringing power to sizeable cities, some of them with a few hundred thousand inhabitants, without any access to modern energy. In support of the DFID-backed “Essor - Access to Electricity (A2E)” initiative, the Bank proposes to provide debt financing and arrange co-financing from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other development partners. The objective of the Essor A2E is to support the development of up to thirty green mini grid solar projects over the next five to seven years. Phase I will procure three solar PV mini grids through a competitive tendering process (launched in Q3 2018) in the cities of Isiro, Bumba and Genema while subsequent tenders will replicate the proven scheme to scale up investments in the sector. Envisioned mini-grids would consist of hybrid solar PV power plants (3 to 10 MW), with back up diesel generation, battery storage and associated 15kV distribution and LV networks to reach scattered consumers (total 21,200 households, 2,100 SMEs and public buildings connected over the first five years for the three projects). Three pilot sites have been identified with strong unmet demand potential. Demand studies and technical pre-feasibility studies have been performed, proposing a technical solution that balance the cost, sustainability and reach of the mini-grids.