Energy Transition

This company aims to build 1,400 mini solar grids in rural Africa and Asia

Husk Power operates 200 mini solar grids in Nigeria and India, and plans to expand into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Husk Power operates 200 mini solar grids in Nigeria and India, and plans to expand into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Image: Pexels/Los Muertos Crew

MacDonald Dzirutwe
Correspondent, Reuters
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  • US based Husk Power has raised $103 million to build at least 1,400 mini solar grids in rural Africa and Asia.
  • The firm operates 200 mini solar grids in Nigeria and India, and plans to expand into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
  • Two-thirds of the new funds will be invested in Africa, mostly Nigeria.
  • Husk expects to connect about 300,000 new households and small businesses to the mini solar grids.

U.S.-based Husk Power has raised $103 million in funding to build at least 1,400 mini solar grids in rural Africa and Asia, its CEO said on Tuesday, as the firm seeks to expand to communities not connected to national grids.

Husk raised the money in its latest funding round from existing equity holders Shell Ventures and SwedFund, and new investors including French infrastructure investment vehicle STOA and U.S. International Development Finance Corporation.

The firm operates 200 mini grids in Nigeria and India, CEO and co-founder Manoj Sinha said.

Nigeria, with a population of more than 200 million people, grapples with chronic power shortages due to a dilapidated transmission grid and generation constraints, leaving many households and businesses reliant on petrol and diesel generators.

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Mini grids, made up of small-scale electricity generating units, typically range in a size from a few kilowatts to up to 10 megawatts (MW), enough to power hundreds of households.

Sinha said two-thirds of the new funds would be invested in Africa, mostly Nigeria, with plans to expand into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“So hopefully by before 2026 we would have a decent size footprint in DRC as well by utilizing this new funding. But our focus is going to be India and Nigeria where we are going to increase our footprint from 200 to 1,500 mini grids,” Sinha told Reuters.

About 300,000 new households and small businesses would connected to the mini grids, said Sinha.

In a statement, Husk said that $60 million of the new funds were debt from the European Investment Bank, International Finance Corporation and other lenders, while the balance was equity from existing and new equity holders.

Husk’s announcement comes after World Bank president Ajay Banga said in August the lender was aiming to help fund construction of 1,000 mini solar power grids in Nigeria.

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