The PAYG solar start-up, which is a darling of impact investors, has formed a joint venture with French cotton farming giant Geocoton to establish a foothold in Burkina Faso and says it is aiming to offer its solar home systems to 2 million customers.
U.S.-owned, Nairobi-based mini-grid developer PowerGen has already rolled out seven local solar networks in the West African country, funded by equity investors who will recoup their cash when all 28 systems are sold to CrossBoundary Energy Access.
Two projects with a total generation capacity of 4 MW will be the first of a planned 12 that are set to bring 35 MW of solar to the grid of the Southern African nation by the end of next year.
The latest global PV industry outlook published by trade group SolarPower Europe, has indicated tight supply of the solar panel raw material is expected to persist this year but the trade body said it would be unlikely to drive further price rises.
A report commissioned by EU lender the EIB has dismissed the role solar mini-grids can play in achieving universal electrification by 2030 and signaled distribution to individual households should be the way forward, including sales to the residents of UN refugee camps in East Africa.
State-owned China Xinhua Power Development has booked a $53 million discount on seven solar farms as developer Kongsun seeks to pay down debts, and Canadian Solar has landed a 45 MWh energy storage contract in Colombia.
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