West African commercial solar installer looks east


West African commercial and industrial solar developer Starsight Energy has expanded east by acquiring half of the East African operations of Nairobi-based peer Premier Solar Group.

The partnership between Starsight and Premier Solar's Kenyan subsidiary Premier Solar Solutions will see an establishment of a new unit: Starsight Premier Energy Group, which will aim to provide sustainable power, cooling, and battery storage to commercial and industrial customers in Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, according to a press release issued by Starsight yesterday.

Premier Solar founder and CEO Rupesh Hindocha is chairman and CEO of the new business and Rujat Surey, head of projects at Premier Solar, has been appointed chief technology officer of Starsight Premier.


Starsight Energy CEO Tony Carr said: “We are excited to be partnering with Premier Solar Group in East Africa. The newly formed company will deliver significant financial capacity to the region’s energy efficiency market and offer new and existing clients an unprecedented opportunity to scale their sustainable power, cooling, and storage systems. Startsight Premier Energy Group will combine Starsight’s industry-leading service and technology with Premier Solar Group’s established footprint in Kenya. We look forward to bringing our unparalleled service and 99.9% uptime guarantee to the new C&I [commercial and industrial] clients in the region.”

Premier Solar's Hindocha said: “We welcome the partnership with Startsight Energy in East Africa. We knew instantly that Starsight would be the right partner for us because of their reputation for exceptional customer service, innovation, and sustainability. We look forward to continuing to deliver the standard of service and efficiency that has come to define the Starsight Energy and Premier Solar Group brands.”

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Starsight Energy has offices in Nigeria and Ghana and its press release stated it is backed by London-based private equity group Helios Investment Partners and the Cape Town-based financial service African Infrastructure Investment Managers, which is owned by Johannesburg-based banking group Old Mutual. The Starsight website also lists state-owned development funds in Norway, Finland and Nigeria among its backers.

Premier Solar's website states it is part of a wider renewables group alongside Singapore and Dubai-based investment bank Faber Capital, Dubai-based developer and bank Gulf New Energy Group and Sri Lankan developer Sagasolar, which may be linked with Sri Lankan conglomerate LOLC Group.

By Joshua Mwatu

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