Press Release: Pioneer Facility Invests in Techno Hill to Expand Solar Microgrids in Myanmar
The Pioneer Facility, an impact investment fund managed by Nexus for Development, signs its first investment in Myanmar with Techno Hill, a pioneering solar microgrid developer.
The Pioneer Facility loan of USD 400,000 will finance the CAPEX for a new 209 kW solar mini grid project in Southern Myanmar, that will provide reliable 24-hour electricity supply for 700 households, 90 streetlights, 5 public facilities and 23 businesses.
Resilient and mission-driven
Nexus has been working with Techno Hill since 2019 and provided a small working capital loan in 2021 amidst the political crisis to support the company in its mission to deliver vital and affordable energy to local communities.
Despite the challenges faced by the country and its population, Techno Hill has shown incredible resilience in Myanmar, and was able to implement 7 additional solar mini grids in the last two years. The company now operates a total of 20 in the country, supplying affordable energy to nearly fifty thousand people. The solar mini grids were developed under the National Electrification Plan (NEP), a program designed to accelerate energy access in a country that had an electrification rate of only 36% in 20161 .
A report published by Smart Power Myanmar (SPM) in March 2022 highlighted that while the rural customer base experienced increased economic stress, energy consumption did not decrease after the political crisis and after Covid-19 waves2 . This trend was confirmed by Techno Hill that has seen energy consumption almost double between 2020 and 2021 in its sites under management. SPM confirmed that affordable and reliable electricity clearly remained a high priority for rural communities in times of crisis, and that the households surveyed considered paying their electricity bill a priority. Considering that diesel prices have nearly quadrupled since 2019, affordable electricity became even more crucial to the populations of Myanmar as a clean alternative to expensive fossil fuels3 , especially at a time when investments towards renewable energy projects have nearly stopped in the country4 .
Photo courtesy of Soneva Foundation.