BusinessDay

Off-grid energy company PowerGen signs funding agreement with Shell, others

PowerGen Renewable Energy, a micro-utilities provider in Africa has signed an equity-based financing investment with funding from Shell’s New Energies business, as well as Omidyar Network, Acumen, Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP), EDFI ElectriFI, Sumitomo Corporation, DOB Equity, and Micro-grid Catalytic Capital Partners (MCCP).

According to a release by the company, this round of funding follows a seed financing it closed in December 2016 led by DOB Equity and supported by AHI Venture Partners.

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“We are excited to work with them to build the energy system of the future in Africa, helping to bring electricity to the millions of people without,” said Aaron Cheng, President of PowerGen.

Brian Davis, Shell VP Energy Solutions, comments: “I am happy that Shell will be supporting the next chapter in PowerGen’s exciting journey towards meeting the electricity needs of more African customers. We see that Powergen’s local experience, capabilities and growth to date make it well positioned to serve the expanding African decentralised power market. The firm is a key part of our growing energy access business as we move towards Shell’s ambition to provide a reliable electricity supply by 2030 to 100 million people in the developing world.”

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Africa’s energy poverty sees over 600million without access to electricity according to the International Energy Agency figures and approximately 80 percent live in rural areas. The recent uptick in off-grid investments is helping to improve access.

“The funding will strengthen PowerGen’s position in its core African markets Kenya, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, and help it expand into new ones, as the demand for reliable, clean and affordable electricity in Africa continues to grow,” says PowerGen.

The company also says it aims to connect one million more people to reliable electricity over the next five years, before accelerating its reach in the future.

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