PowerGen Renewable Energy, a leader in micro-utilities in Africa – managing mini-grids and providing customer support – has signed a Series B 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).
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.
PowerGen aims to connect one million more people to reliable electricity over the next five years, before accelerating its reach in future. Over 600 million people in Africa lack access to electricity, of which approximately 80% live in rural areas (according to the International Energy Agency).
PowerGen has been one of the pioneers of the private utility sector in Africa, delivering affordable, reliable and clean electricity to underserved Africans through modern, sustainable mini-grids. It also provides ongoing customer support through dedicated maintenance and customer services.
Aaron Cheng, President of PowerGen, said, “We are thrilled to have investors who are so knowledgeable and experienced in our sector join our team. Shell, Omidyar Network, Acumen, EDFI ElectriFI, REPP, Sumitomo Corporation and MCCP are institutions with significant expertise in and commitment to the African energy access industry. 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.”
Brian Davis, Shell VP Energy Solutions, added, “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.”
This approach is, in turn, helping to reduce poverty by supporting economic development and contributing to a clean electricity system in Africa. This round of funding follows a Series A round closed in December 2016 led by DOB Equity and supported by AHL Venture Partners.
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