By Prosper Makene
Centennial, a power company operating in the United States and 6 countries in Africa, commissioned its 18th project with a rooftop solar project at Juja City Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, the first project to be financed by Centennial’s new C9 Fund.
The C9 Fund, launched this month by Centennial, is dedicated to financing solar and battery storage projects for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The projects are designed to lower power costs for SMEs, while improving the predictability of power supply and lowering the environmental footprint of their operations.
With an initial focus in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, C9 Fund’s geographic scope will expand in 2023. The fund is owned by Centennial’s holding company for its Africa business, and Centennial employees have been granted equity interests in the fund.
Juja City Mall is a multi-use facility, containing 220,000 square feet, an 80-room hotel, a school and medical facilities, located just 20 minutes from Nairobi’s city center. Tenants include Naivas Supermarket, Total, Bata and two health clinics – Caremax and Medicross.
“The organizations who lead in the energy transition have a clear advantage in improving profit margins, accessing new investment opportunities and setting the pace for their competitors to catch up on their path to net zero emissions,” said David John
Frenkil, Founder and Managing Director of Centennial. “We are excited for Juja City Mall to be our first investment under Centennial’s new C9 Fund and for the company to join the community of the many commercial and industrial businesses across several countries on the African continent that have partnered with Centennial over nearly a decade.”
Under the project’s agreement, Juja City Mall will not incur any capital expenses because the project is fully financed through Centennial’s C9 Fund.
“With Centennial’s solar project, Juja City Mall’s power supply is now an investment, not a sunk cost,” said James Gachiri, Managing Director of Juja City Mall. “Our management welcomes this project because every kilowatt-hour generated from the solar project is building new equity for our company, as ownership of the solar project will be transferred from C9 Fund to Juja City Mall at the end of the contract’s term. And it is an initiative that allows us to ensure that we meet our sustainability goals for years to come.”
Centennial co-developed the project with Galweather Consulting, a renewable energy developer and consulting firm. The project was designed by Centennial’s in-house engineering department and Mazard Engineering installed the project.
C9 Fund’s upcoming pipeline of projects includes SMEs working across numerous sectors, including manufacturing, healthcare, logistics, commercial real estate, hospitality and education. The fund is designed to align with SDG-7, the United Nations’ seventh sustainable development goal, which aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy.
More Info about Centennial
Centennial is a power company delivering solar and battery energy storage projects for commercial and industrial operations in the United States and 6 African countries.
Since 2014, customers have included Fortune 500 companies and publicly-traded businesses, as well as other leading organizations.