For the grand finale of this second edition of the EDF Pulse Africa Awards, ten projects caught the attention of the internal jury which met on October 4th in Paris. These projects come from the 03 categories of the contest: Off-grid eletricity production, Electricity services and usages and Water access.
Today, we highlight four projects in the "Off-grid eletricity production" category, which are the finalists selected to pitch on November 22nd. Below, a brief presentation of these startups all from English-speaking countries.
BLACK STAR ENERGY LTD, Off-grid eletricity production , Ghana
This start-up develops, owns and operates solar off-grid in Ghana. Black Star Energy Ltd. already operates 15 minigrids and would like to move to 30 this year in order to serve more than 12,000 people in the country. It gives the figure of + 98% availability 24/7 and has developed a profitable model (85% operating margin). The solution consists mainly of:
- An "AC" mini-grid with single or three-phase solar energy with storage
- Smart meters owners
- A cloud platform for customer relationship management.
The proposed system allows you to know energy consumption and make bill payments using any mobile device. The platform has the flexibility to meet the varied needs of customers with different pricing according to schedules. Data collection allows the start-up to adapt to the needs of its customers and their payment methods.
The team includes award-winning solar engineers and experienced executives in utility operations, software and energy consumer behavior. The most important demonstration of the strength of this team is that they have built and operated 15 mini-grids with high reliability and high service levels.
ECOGEN ENTERPRISES, Off-grid eletricity production, Malawi
Founded in 2017, Ecogen Enterprises strives to innovate to eradicate poverty in its home country of Malawi. For this it is given as mission to improve the food security of the populations. The start-up offers an inexpensive home-grown biodigester that is easy to install and easy to transport in all areas, while providing enough gas for cooking and lighting. It is also an effective way of managing organic waste.
The distribution of the product is carried out by local agents who go door to door to praise the merits of biogas from different targets. : individual houses, hotels, restaurants, canteens, farms etc. The young company estimates its current funding need at 300K to better structure administratively and commercially.
EcoGen has three well experienced founding members who are very passionate about social change. They are professionally well experienced in the areas of Social Entrepreneurship, Renewable Energy Engineering and Rural Community Development.
SOLARCREED, Off-grid eletricity production, Nigeria
SolarCreed provides African farmers with subscription-based, next-generation solar energy solutions for optimized production.
Their method is to use solar lighting to replace fossil fuel-powered lighting for Nigerian farmers.
It is a subscription model (36-month lease), applied to solar-powered long-life lithium-ion batteries (35Wp) and 400 Lumen LEDs to provide up to 10 hours of lighting. this solution effectively replaces the diesel and gasoline used by Nigerian farmers.
Engineers, designers and mobile developers are part of this entrepreneurial adventure, which uses Pay-As-You-Go technology.
The team is constituted as follows :
- Saheed Okuboyejo (International Business Development, Renewables Energy)
- Damola Alayande (National Operations, Technology)
- Moowa Masani (International Market Intelligence Experience)
- Olusoji Aboderin (Regional Sales Management)
- Chetachukwu Afuba (Lead, Customer Support).
STANDARD MICROGRID, Off-grid eletricity production, Zambia
This start-up provides access to affordable modern energy services for low-income communities, hospitals and schools.
Standard Microgrid has developed the ability to remotely monitor and control systems, manage demand, and monitor usage and payment collection.
Their mobile billing system allows local businesses, unskilled people to buy energy or sell it for profit to other members of the community.
Over time, the company has developed a standardized, fully automated renewable energy system for access to modern energy services at an affordable price.
Fully contained in a 20-foot container, the 10-kW micro-grid can be deployed in three days and has the capacity to provide electricity to more than 150 homes.
It should be noted that the South African start-up is priced much more competitive than their competition in the country.
The team has extensive expertise in technical development in production, distribution and network management systems, off-grid project development, business development and solid operational experience in rural Africa.