South African telecommunications group wants to deploy 175 MW of PV in Africa


From pv magazine France

Distributed Power Africa (DPA), a unit of South African telecommunications group Econet, has announced that South Africa-based investment firm Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH) has made a $20 million equity investment in newly formed joint venture DPA Africa Asset-Co.

Under the terms of the agreement, RBH will own 60% of the company while Econet's unit Econet Energy Limited will hold the remaining share. The aim of the investment is to provide financing to boost DPA's commercial and industrial solar projects in four countries, including South Africa, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, for a total of 175 MW over the next four years.

DPA Africa Asset-Co will provide its clients with solar energy solutions based on lease contracts for photovoltaic solar panels and electricity storage systems. The financial model chosen, according to the company, makes it possible to offer a turnkey solution that integrates financing, operation and maintenance of the facilities.

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“We are delighted to be supported by a community investor to reduce our clients' initial investment,” said Norman Moyo, CEO of DPA Africa. “We believe that energy is a fundamental pillar to support Africa's economic development.” RBH intends to diversify its portfolio and develop its energy offer, in particular in wind and solar power.

This new initiative adds to other recent investments by DPA aimed at increasing its market share in East and southern Africa. The company has recently partnered with Mettle Solar to invest $1.2 million in a 1 MW solar project at East Africa Data Center (EADC) in Nairobi, Kenya. In May 2020, the subsidiary of Econet Wireless decided to enter the Zambian market, which became the fifth African country in which it installs its renewable energy production equipment.

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