First African solar project capacity financed under €5m crowdfunding-backed partnership


Businesses as diverse as a fish farm, a textile manufacturer, and a packaging company will benefit from solar power after a €5 million partnership was announced between Swedish crowdsourcing platform Trine and South African commercial solar leasing firm Solarise Africa.

The two parties last week revealed details of a tie-up which has already closed an €800,000 first round of fundraising and had, at the time of publication, raised almost €472,000 of their second, €630,000 slice of finance.

Gothenburg-based Trine offers small scale investors the chance to back solar projects with stakes of as little as €25. Gauteng-headquartered PV leasing business Solarise Africa installs solar arrays to generate power for commercial customers. Solarise retains ownership of the panels and is paid by the customer for the electricity consumed.

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A spokesperson for Trine told pv magazine the initial €800,000 round of credit would finance five installations in Nairobi and Lake Victoria, in Kenya; and in Johannesburg and Polokwane, in South Africa. Although specific project details could not be disclosed, for commercial reasons, the spokesperson said the projects would have a total generation capacity of 2.5 MW, with a 1.8 MW system to be installed in addition to four 700 kW arrays.

Trine and Solarise Africa intend to extend the partnership into Ghana and Rwanda – where the latter already operates – with solar systems expected to be installed in those two countries from next year.

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