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Access Power-FMO bank announce shortlist for 'Solar Shark Tank'

$100,000 prize money to be won and prequalification for the $7m Access Co-Development Facility

8th February 2016:
Access Power, developer, owner and operator of power projects in emerging markets, and FMO, the Dutch development bank, are delighted to announce a shortlist of four companies selected to pitch for financial support for the development of solar projects. The final pitches will be delivered at the 'Solar Shark Tank' event at the Making Solar Bankable conference in Amsterdam on the 18th February.

This high pressure Dragon's Den style event will see competing developers from emerging markets deliver five minute presentations, followed by question and answer sessions, to an expert panel of judges in front of a live audience. The winner of the Shark Tank Competition will receive a $100,000 grant towards the development of the project from Access Power and FMO. In addition, the winning project shall be pre-qualified for the Access Co-Development Facility (ACF2016), a competition for renewable energy projects to secure a mix of expertise and funding from a set aside pool of $7million, for the development of their renewable energy project located in an emerging market.

The four projects shortlisted for the 'Solar Shark Tank' competition include: AGES PLC in Sierra Leone, Canopy Energy in Burkina Faso, KVK Energy in Nigeria, and Symbior Energy in Mongolia.

Reda El Chaar, Executive Chairman, Access Power commented, "The response to this competition has been considerable and we have been impressed and encouraged by the calibre of the applications received. In the search for exemplar projects to support, the Pre-selection committee has considered a range of bold and innovative proposals, many of which clearly demonstrate the ability to harness the development potential of renewable energy. Through this competition, we hope to encourage innovation and support companies in their efforts to deliver power to places that desperately need it."

Entrants must be:

  • projects between 5MW and 50MW in size
  • a solar power generation project in an emerging market in Asia, Africa or Latin America
  • at a relatively advanced stage of development
  • have pre-feasibility studies completed

Access Power will also pre-qualify the winning project for the Access Co-Development Facility (ACF) if it is being developed in Africa. The Access Co-development Facility (ACF) is a financial support mechanism designed to serve as a unique platform to bridge the gap between local power project developers/originators and the technical experience/funding required to bring such projects to life. Following a very successful inaugural deployment, the ACF has increased its funding pot from $5m in 2015 to $7m this year.

Mark Melis, CFA Investment Officer. Private Equity at FMO quote said: "With entrepreneurship at the heart of our ethos, we would like to congratulate the four shortlisted companies for reaching the final stage of this unique competition. This prize is a major opportunity for a local developer to benefit from the support and experience of Access Power and FMO. We are pleased to offer financial provision and encouragement to businesses in emerging markets with the aim of supporting sustainable private sector development".


Notes to Editors:

For more information, please contact Stephanie Blott or Francesca Boothby at or call 0203 727 1529

About Access Power

Access Energy Group ("AEG") was founded in May 2012 by Mr. Reda El Chaar with an aim of structuring, developing, and investing into infrastructure projects in emerging and frontier markets. Access has assembled a development team with a track record of financially closing ~30 GW of power projects across the globe with a specific focus on the MEA region.

For more information:

About FMO:

FMO is the Dutch development bank. FMO has invested in the private sector in developing countries and emerging markets for more than 45 years. Our mission is to empower entrepreneurs to build a better world. We invest in sectors where we believe our contribution can have the highest long-term impact: financial institutions, energy and agribusiness. Alongside partners, we invest in the infrastructure, manufacturing and services sectors. With an investment portfolio of EUR 8.8 billion spanning over 85 countries, FMO is one of the larger bilateral private sector development banks globally.

For more information:

COMPANIES shortlisted for the Solar Shark Tank Competition

Symbior Energy

Symbior Energy is a Hong Kong based incubator for emerging market renewable energy companies. They specialise in transforming energy projects into proven early stage operating companies that become attractive propositions for private equity funds and other investors. Symbior Solar has grown into a leading regional solar PV developer with a focus on frontier solar PV markets in Asia. Symbior Solar continues to expand its solar PV generation platform in Thailand, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Mongolia.


KVK Energy is an Indian-focused energy infrastructure company. The company currently has 5 operating power plants and with a further three projects under construction and an aggregate installed anticipated capacity of approximately 4,805 MW. With expertise in project management, operations and execution and a diverse straddle of both conventional and non-conventional sources, KVK have participated in the implementation, construction, operation and maintenance of numerous projects across India through the use of SPVs.


Africa Growth And Energy Solutions (AGES) is a UK based company with experience in developing renewable energy projects. The company aims to combine power generation with sustainable development programmes by collaborating with both local and international stakeholders, transforming the communities they serve as a result. AGES specialise in finding the appropriate technical solutions and finance partners in order to fund sustainable projects.

Canopy Energy

Canopy Energy is a photovoltaic energy specialist company founded in France in 2008. They specialise in the development, financing, construction and operation of PV projects and currently have 320MWp of projects under development in Europe and Africa. They moved into the African market in 2012 and have subsidiaries in Senegal, Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau and Burkina Faso. They have expertise in project acquisition & financing as well as asset management allowing them to ensure value for both investors and developers.

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