AFRICA: Gridworks invests $7.5 million in off-grid company, Mettle Solar

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AFRICA: Gridworks invests $7.5 million in off-grid company, Mettle Solar ©Yong006/Shutterstock

Gridworks, a development and investment platform owned by CDC group, has recently announced a $7.5 million investment in the off-grid supply company, Mettle Solar Investments.

Mettle Solar Investments, an off-grid supplier, has new funds for its expansion on the African continent, through an equity investment of $7.5 million in this South African-based company. The transaction is being carried out by Gridworks, a development and investment platform created in mid-June 2019 by Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC Group), the UK government’s development finance agency.

CDC Group believes that this financing will allow Mettle Solar Investments to expand its services in Africa. The latter supplies solar off-grid systems with storage systems to industries and commercial companies. “Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa regularly experience power outages. It is clear that companies must be able to rely on a reliable supply of electricity. Our investment will help Mettle Solar provide clean and reliable energy to companies in African markets where electricity is often unreliable and leaves a larger carbon footprint,” said Simon Hodson, Gridworks’s president and CEO.

The ambitious goal of expansion

Mettle Solar is currently installing 12 MW of off-grid power across the African continent. It already has 15.4 MW installed for companies in countries such as South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, but also in the Indian Ocean islands, including the Seychelles. In this archipelago, Mettle Solar has provided an off-grid of 750 kWp to Islands Development Company (IDC), a public company dedicated to the development of the archipelago.

The electricity produced is sold to Alphonse Island Lodge, a company specialising in travel and ecotourism on the island, Island Conservation Society, and Seychelles Peoples Defence Forces (the Seychelles Army). The facility is also expected to benefit 190 people, as well as tourists in transit on the turquoise water and white sand Island. The facilities were built by Sustainable Power Solutions (SPS).

Based in South Africa, this engineering company specialising in the construction and operation of solar photovoltaic systems is 50% owned by Mettle Solar. The two companies are therefore working hand in hand to implement off-grid projects more quickly. It is a strong argument that led Gridworks to invest $7.5 million in Mettle Solar. The company hopes to install its off grids in other African countries such as Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, Madagascar and Nigeria.

Jean Marie Takouleu


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