A government-backed 20MW reservoir dam and hydropower facility in the Solomon Islands is one of four renewable energy projects to receive a total of US$44.5 million in funding from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The hydro facility is expected to diversify the country’s energy mix, provide renewable energy access to 5000 people, create around 400 jobs, and avoid 44,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

The other projects to be funded by the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility include a hybrid micro-grid project employing solar PV and advanced lithium-ion batteries, integrated wind and solar, and a combination project consisting of micro-grid and solar home kits.

“Over the course of the last four years, the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility has identified path breaking renewable energy projects that are helping to expand access to energy, bolster energy security and provide sustainable, affordable energy for those who need it most,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “Importantly, this Facility is also putting in place an innovative process which supports transformational and replicable projects that can potentially bring sustainable energy to millions of people around the world.”

For his part, His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD said: “ADFD is committed towards steadfast development in the renewable energy sector; it’s a crucial industry for sustainable continuity, long-term growth and constructive evolution of developing nations. Over seven funding cycles, our USD 350 million partnership, IRENA/ADFD Project Facility, aims to support and enhance the developing world’s energy needs by tapping into their abundant renewable energy sources. This collaboration further exemplifies ADFD’s mission and commitment to provide governments with the financial resources, tools, methods and instruments to safeguard against future unknowns, grasp opportunities and seize desired development goals.”

Through the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility, ADFD provides consessional loans ranging from US$5 million to US$15 million per project. Finance is offered at 1 to 2 per cent lending rates with a 20-year loan period, including a 5-year grace period. Loans for each project cover up to half of the estimated project cost, leveraging additional funding from other sources. To help facilitate additional sources of funding, project developers can register and seek financing sources from IRENA’s Sustainable Energy Marketplace.

Applications for the latest round of funding were evaluated by an international panel of experts who reviewed the projects based on their technical feasibility, economic/commercial viability and socio-economic and environmental benefits.

Since 2013, through the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility, USD 189 million has been allocated to 19 projects, and has attracted over USD 387 million in co-financing for a total of USD 576 million in new investment inflow. Selected projects thus far have included off-grid, mini-grid and on-grid projects using wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass sources. Selected projects over the first four cycles will bring more than 100MW of renewable energy capacity online, and improve the livelihoods of over a million people.

Applications for the next rounding of IRENA/ADFD Project Facility funding will be accepted until 15 February 2017.

To learn more about the ADFD/IRENA Project Facility and how to apply visit: www.irena.org/adfdhttp://www.irena.org/adfd