Tag Archives: energy

MOBISOL acquires payment service provider to expand off-grid solar commercialization

Mobisol, a solar electrification company, yesterday announced  it has acquired Lumeter, one of the largest providers of pay-as-you-go (PAYG) software for the off-grid solar industry.

The solar energy company said the acquisition creates strong synergies between Lumeter and Mobisol’s software for pay-as-you-go services  as  it creates an unrivaled player with strong pricing power, expertise in the metering sector for stand-alone solar systems and mini-grid solutions.

“While pay-as-you-go software pioneers like Lumeter and Angaza Design have very successfully paved the way to meet consumer needs, we will now be able to take this approach to a new level, offering opportunities to manufacturers and distributors on a larger scale” said Stefan Zelazny, Chief Innovation Officer at Mobisol. “We are able to provide a hardware agnostic software suite that makes major consumer and commercial implementations possible. We see the Lumeter acquisition as a key step in our plan to expand the pay-as-you-go market for Mobisol, its off-grid partners and other technologies beyond solar.”

Furthermore, the platform  has the ability to deliver PAYG functionalities for large productive use systems to underserved areas of the world.

Mobisol has installed nearly 10 megawatts of capacity in Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya, providing clean and reliable electricity to households and small businesses in low-income communities.

Following this acquisition, the Mobisol platform now supports more than 500,000 people globally with access to clean, reliable and affordable power.

It is estimated that approximately 2 billion people worldwide live without a reliable electricity source to meet their daily energy needs and are forced to turn to unhealthy and environmentally harmful alternatives such as kerosene lanterns and generators.

Mobisol estimates that its software saves up to 80% in daily operations. Through a comprehensive feature set, like automated invoicing, remote monitoring to reinforce payments, complete control of the supply chain from production facilities to sales outlets, and automated credit checks, overhead is reduced and digitalization of operations possible.

Mitra Ardron, founder of Lumeter, added: “I am glad to see Lumeter’s technology developed further with Mobisol. By bringing together the customers, hardware, and back-end solutions of the two leading companies in PAYG, we will bring new advantages to all of our partners.“

Lumeter brings proven pay-as-you-go software for the off-grid solar market that taps into existing micro-finance systems to bring affordable solar power to millions of households without other options.

Mobisol  said it  is now in a position to offer the most complete solution, including hardware, software and operational expertise, for off-grid solar pay-as-you-go power for large consumer uses as well as commercial systems (up to 600Wp).

In addition, the solar energy player said the acquisition achieves short-term cost savings as well other long-term strategic opportunities for growth and new revenue opportunities.

 

 

New Rwaza 1 Hydropower Plant in Musanze Begins Construction

Rwanda’s minister of infrastracture James Musoni with US ambassador Barks-Ruggles during the plant launch in Musanze,northern Rwanda

Musanze, Rwanda – On June 21st, 2017 the Minister of Infrastructure James Musoni, U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda Erica Barks-Ruggles, German Ambassador to Rwanda Dr. Peter Woeste and other project partners visited and celebrated the construction of the Rwaza I hydropower plant in Northern Rwanda.

The hydropower plant was developed in part thanks to a grant provided by the United States Government’s Power Africa initiative. When completed, the hydropower plant will provide reliable, affordable electricity into the Rwandan national grid. The project will produce approximately 20 Gigawatt hours of electricity each year, which is equivalent to the electricity consumption of approximately 20,000 Rwandan households.

The hydropower plant is expected to provide approximately 2 percent of the total electricity produced in the country, and will stabilize the local grid—improving power supply to local business and industries.

“American companies are at the forefront of helping Rwanda meet its energy needs and are driving investment in all energy sectors, including methane gas, off grid solar, and the mini-hydro sector,” said Ambassador Barks-Ruggles. “I am excited about the progress we have made over the past couple of years and the potential for further U.S. investment and engagement through the Power Africa initiative to help Rwanda meet its energy needs.”

“The Power Plant we are launching today might be small in size, but we have no doubt that even the 2.6 MW to be produced at Rwaza-Muko HydroPower Plant will greatly contribute to our bold vision. This project could not have come at a more opportune time, as we project our energy demand to soar from the current 208 MW installed capacity to a projected 570 MW by June 2024,” said Minister James  Musoni.

“Together, we have reached an important milestone in the development and implementation of this project,” said Chad Bannick, CEO of DC HydroPower. “As developers and investors in the energy sector, we are thankful to be part of Rwanda’s initiative to reduce greenhouse gasses and provide clean, renewable energy to the people of Rwanda.”

Power Africa Coordinator Andrew Herscowitz congratulated the groundbreaking of the project by stating, “This deal shows how the private sector and government can work together in Rwanda to get a deal across the finish line. The Rwaza 1 Hydropower Plant is another example of how the private sector can drive power generation and development throughout Africa.”

The construction of this new hydropower plant directly supports the Rwandan Government’s goal of providing 70 percent of its population with access to electricity by 2018. They also advance the objectives of Power Africa (U.S. Government-led electricity access initiative) and KfW (Germany’s government-owned development bank) in addressing one of the most pressing challenges to sustainable economic growth and development in sub-Saharan Africa – access to reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity.

“Rwanda needs more energy. And Germany believes in the future of clean and affordable energy. This project can be a perfect role model to link these needs and aspirations. As discussed at the G20 recently, we see the necessity to discuss innovative financing solutions. This project would fit perfectly into the new development approach. The German government’s bank, KfW, established “rAREH”, an investment fund to develop and operate renewable energy projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. This fund is open for private investors to join us, to multiply funds,” said the German Ambassador to Rwanda Dr. Peter Woeste

 Rwaza I am a 2.6 megawatt run-of-the-river hydropower plant located in the Rwaza Sector on the Mukungwa River, in Musanze District. The firm DC HydroPower identified and developed the project through the feasibility stage and the signing of a power purchase agreement with the Rwanda Energy Group. The firms Frontier Energy and ResponsAbility Renewable Energy Holding joined DC HydroPower as investment partners during the final stages of development.

Construction of the plant began in January 2017 and is expected to last 18 months, after which the plant will be operational. Rwaza 1, along with the nearby 4 megawatt Nyundo hydropower plant, received assistance from U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) —a Power Africa partner agency—during the development phase to complete the feasibility study. The Nyundo project is being developed by Amahoro Energy, a Rwandan company with US investors formed to electrify the Shyira Hospital, which serves more than 300,000 people, and is expected to commence construction on October 2017 and reach commercial operations by December 2018.

 

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