The European Union(EU) has given approval for a $3.4 million working capital facility under the ElectriFI Country Window for Nigeria for Okra Solar to use solar mesh-grids to target 76,000 energy access beneficiaries by the end of 2025.
Okra Solar will provide access to electricity through mesh-grid technology to mini-grid developers.
The initiative, which was launched in 2016, Okra Solar developed the mesh-grid technology specifically to electrify underserved or unserved communities.
Their proprietary Okra Pod is a device that enables the solar systems installed at each household to communicate and share power through a low voltage transmission cable (creating the mesh-grid). The pods are sold with PV panels, battery and inverters.
The company has started focusing on the highly strategic Nigerian market and wants to deploy multiple pilot projects to energise more than 30,000 households in-country over the next two to three years.
“Even with off-grid solutions like mesh-grids being 10 times cheaper than grid extension for hard-to-reach communities, 80 million people continue to live off-grid in Nigeria. Okra is incredibly excited to work with EDFI ElectriFI to deploy innovative financial tools that will enable local developers to deploy mesh-grids at scale and continue rapidly bringing power to the people,” said , co-founder and CEO, Okra Solar, Afnan Hannan.
EDFI ElectriFI’s investment consists in a revolving working capital facility, designed to bridge the financing gap in the supply chain and help Okra leverage the high demand for their technology, penetrate the Nigerian market further and eventually speed up sustainable electrification.
ElectriFI senior investment officer at EDFI MC, Maud Watelet,
called the Okra Solar technology “transformative.”
“We are proud to contribute to facilitating and accelerating the development of micro- and mini-grids for rural electrification across Nigeria. Given the various awards received by Okra, we are confident that the highly skilled Okra Team will thrive within this complex industry,” said Watelet.
The ElectriFI Country Window for Nigeria is developed in partnership with EU Delegations and host governments.
“The European Union’s support to Okra through the ElectriFI Nigeria Country Window assists the country’s efforts in accelerating energy access to people in underserved and unserved communities.
“As such, it is at the heart of our partnership with Nigeria, which among others, aims at improving reliable energy access to seize the environmental, social and economic potential of renewable energy,” explained, the head of Green and Digital Economy at the Delegation of the European Union to the Federal Republic of Nigeria & ECOWAS, Inga Stefanowicz.