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Bringing Energy To A Tropical Island

Just off the south-east coast of the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean island of Saona is a popular destination for tourists and film-makers, who are attracted by its unspoilt beauty and the rich biodiversity of its surrounding seas. It may sound like paradise, but for residents of its two settlements, Mano Juan and Catuano, the lack of electricity on the island made life hard, affecting their education, diet and economic development.

That has now changed, thanks to a partnership agreement made at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. Working closely with the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI), Bank of America partnered with InterEnergy and its subsidiary Consorcio Energetico Punta Cana Macao (CEPM) to support the construction and operation of eligible renewable energy and clean transportation assets located in the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The collaboration initially focuses on the Caribbean SIDS, which tend to have extreme climate vulnerability, in an effort to help transition these countries to a more sustainable future. As a result of that commitment, a solar grid was installed in Saona providing the people of Saona with electric service for the first time in their history, and it’s 100% renewable.

“The transaction will help advance a more sustainable future for the Dominican Republic and serve as proof of concept for similar efforts in the SIDS,” said Rolando González Bunster, Chairman and CEO of InterEnergy Group. “Our hope is that CEPM’s net-zero transition and blended financing structure will catalyze a flow of capital to clean energy and electric mobility infrastructure projects in the region.”

“As the world transitions to meet the critical net zero carbon emissions goals, it is crucial to ensure emerging markets’ access to global banking and capital markets for the financing they need to achieve their targets,” said Karen Fang, Global Head of Sustainable Finance at Bank of America. “This transaction is an important example of the impact that can result from collaborative, blended finance approaches, and we expect to replicate this in other SIDS and the Commonwealth countries that are vulnerable to climate change and historically lacked access to scalable transition financing capital.”

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