Off Grid Electric and EDF team up in offering a new off-grid solar power solution for rural areas in West Africa
- First large-scale operational partnership between a global energy company and a leading off-grid solar company.
- Off Grid Electric’s experience in Tanzania and EDF’s experience in South Africa shows that households using these services have reduced emissions from kerosene and black carbon by 1.45 kg per year.
Off Grid Electric, a leading distributed solar company in Africa, and EDF, a global leader in low-carbon energies, today announced a partnership to supply competitive off-grid solar energy in Africa. This partnership will take the initial form of a joint venture – ZECI – in Ivory Coast, announced on the occasion of the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP) held by the United Nations in Marrakech, Morocco. This first joint venture aims to supply power to nearly 2 million people in Ivory Coast by year 2020, with plans to rapidly extend the partnership’s initiatives to other countries in the region.
Within the scope of this joint venture, ZECI, EDF and Off Grid Electric will install and maintain solar kits for rural and peri-urban households1. These individual kits include solar panels, which are easy to install, along with batteries for storing energy. Payment can be made through the simple use of a mobile phone. Customers will therefore have access to lighting and will be able to power a suite of energy-efficient household appliances including television sets, radios, fans and mobile phone chargers.
Rolling out this initiative in West Africa will create thousands of new sustainable jobs (over 1000 jobs in Ivory Coast alone), from sales managers to call-centre employees, who will benefit from Off Grid Electric and EDF in-house training. Giving customers the option to use a renewable energy source like solar energy also benefits the environment by replacing candles, paraffin, and kerosene.
“We’re thrilled to partner with EDF, an industry leader whose presence in Africa, combined with its experience, will enable us to grow Off Grid Electric’s footprint across the continent,” said Bill Lenihan, President and CFO, Off Grid Electric. “Access to reliable energy is a challenge throughout Africa and our partnership with EDF will help us to meet this challenge. Through energy independence, we hope to see households and communities seize new opportunities.”
“Off Grid Electric is the perfect partner for EDF, with its excellent knowledge of the African continent and a proven track record of providing innovative and competitive solar solutions,” said Simone Rossi, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice President, International Division.
He also stressed that “EDF is delighted to partner with Off Grid Electric, thus enabling the latter to benefit from the Group’s extensive expertise in the area of customer relations. This will be an opportunity for us to share the experience we have gathered from supplying energy to more than 30 million customers worldwide, to the advantage of new customers in West Africa.”
Off Grid Electric will be receiving the UNFCCC’s Momentum for Change 2016 Award at COP22. The Momentum for Change initiative is spearheaded by the UN Climate Change secretariat to shine a light on some of the most innovative, scalable and replicable examples of what people are doing to address climate change.
1 According to the World Bank, 62% of Africans in the sub-Saharan region live in rural areas with hardly any access to electrical grids.
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