Bids Invited to Develop Minigrids in Uganda (1)

Power Africa Off-grid Project (PAOP) has issued a request for applications (RFA) to develop solar minigrids in Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement in the Sub-Saharan country of Uganda.

The last day to submit the bids is February 8, 2022.

The scope of work includes design, engineering, supply, installation, testing, and commissioning of the projects, including five years of comprehensive maintenance for off-grid solar photovoltaics and battery minigrids.

Power Africa Off-grid Project has a four-year contract between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Research Triangle Institute (RTI International). It seeks applications to fund one or multiple awards to provide incentives, in the form of grants, to minigrid developers to collaborate on developing minigrids in Ntenungi village, Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement in Western Uganda.


The maximum value of an individual grant will be capped at $500,000.

The grants can either be fixed amount award grants (FAA) or cost reimbursable grants. For FAAs, PAOP will make payments based on submitting and accepting specific verifiable milestones. Once an award is issued, it will include a fixed price payment schedule with milestones and deliverables negotiated during the final application and award process.

For cost-reimbursable grants, the disbursement will be done only after submitting an invoice to PAOP and verifying expenditures incurred and found reasonable, allocable, and allowable. Cost reimbursable grants will be primarily used for larger interventions. Reimbursement will be scheduled on frequencies, not more than monthly, and upon review and acceptance of financial reports.

Preliminary market studies and socio-economic assessments, including geospatial data, have been conducted for the target geography. However, the successful bidders are expected to verify and update data to reflect the actual situation.

The successful bidders will be required to perform the project’s technical implementation, including the procurement and installation of all minigrid equipment and low voltage distribution lines. The bidders must also coordinate with the Rural Electrification Program (REP) to design and construct the requisite distribution system and customer connections.

Title or ownership to all property purchased and constructed during the award period, including minigrid and distribution infrastructure, will be with the bidder. After the award, the title to all property purchased and constructed will be transferred to REP.

Programs funded under this request for applications should be commissioned before September 30, 2022.

Only entities who have a physical presence in Uganda or partner with an entity that has a physical presence in Uganda can submit the bids. Bidders must have also realized financing of at least the grant funding sought within the calendar year 2019 or 2020.

Last month, Social Investment Managers and Advisors launched the Energy Access Relief Fund (EARF) with a first close of $68 million and a target closing of around $84 million by the end of the year. The fund is expected to support off-grid solar companies and protect energy access for over 20 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

Mercom had earlier reported that the African Development Bank Group announced an equity investment of up to $25 million in ARCH Africa Renewable Power Fund (ARPF). This $250 million private equity fund focuses on renewable energy projects across Sub-Saharan Africa.