UK Solar Firm secures $31 million for Africa Expansion

UK Solar Firm secures $31 million for Kenyan Expansion.

British renewable energy firm BBOXX has secured $31 million (about Sh3.15 billion) investment from the Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) fund – for its expansion quests into the Kenyan market.

The firm has stated that it will leverage the investment to roll out its solar platform, which incorporates photovoltaics, battery systems, real-time analytics and the option of mobile phone utility payments in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“AIIM’s investment will turbocharge our operations in Rwanda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This will allow us to scale rapidly and continue to drive disaggregation in what has traditionally been a vertically integrated market,” said Mansoor Hamayun, the company’s CEO & Co-founder.

The cash boost capped a successful week for the London-based company as it earlier secured a $600,000 investment (about Sh61 million) by winning the Zayed Sustainability Prize for energy, a prestigious annual award founded to remember Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the president of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi, who died in 2004.

“The funding is set to dramatically expand BBOXX’s operations. Ten million people will gain energy access through the injection of capital. “It reflects both the ambition of BBOXX and the maturity of the off-grid sector, ” said AIIM fund chief executive, Jurie Swart.

The Africa-focused energy firm recently teamed up with EDF for operations in Togo, with General Electric in the DRC and Orange for streamlining telecoms in West Africa.

Kenyan operations outlook

The Kenyan solar kits market has attracted multinationals like Indian firm Orb Energy and Germany-based Mobisol, as well as a local company, M-Kopa.

Solar experts state that Kenya, like most African countries, has high potential for solar energy generation – arising from high radiation levels from the sun throughout the year.

The intensity of sunlight, not heat levels, determines solar electricity production. For Kenya’s situation, for instance, the total installed power capacity increased only slightly to 2,339.9MW in 2017, from 2,327MW in 2016, according to official statistics. Hence, this outlook has presented a significantly favourable market for independent investors – to supply kits to off-grid customers.

About half of the country’s homes are not connected to the national electricity grid due to high-cost impediments, a challenge investors seek to tackle with flexible financing.

 

ASV & Business Daily Africa.