EDF and Off Grid Electric, a distributed solar company in Africa, have announced a large-scale partnership to supply off-grid solar power in West Africa.
The companies will install and maintain solar PV kits for rural and quasi-urban households who need it most. According to World Bank figures, 62% of Africans in the rural Sub-Saharan region live with almost no access to electricity. The kits include solar panels and batteries for storing energy.
The joint venture will see nearly 2 million people in the Ivory Coast receive power by 2020, with plans to extend the partnership’s initiatives to other countries in the region.
The initiative will not only help with expanding access to clean and reliable energy, but will also enhance regional economics by creating thousands of new sustainable jobs, including more than 1,000 in the Ivory Coast alone.
“We’re thrilled to partner with EDF, an industry leader whose presence in Africa, combined with its experience, will enable us to grow Off Grid Electric’s footprint across the continent,” said Bill Lenihan, president and CFO of Off Grid Electric. “Access to reliable energy is a challenge throughout Africa and our partnership with EDF will help us to meet this challenge. Through energy independence, we hope to see households and communities seize new opportunities.”
“Off Grid Electric is the perfect partner for EDF, with its excellent knowledge of the African continent and a proven track record of providing innovative and competitive solar solutions,” said Simone Rossi, EDF Group senior executive vice president, International Division. “EDF is delighted to partner with Off Grid Electric, thus enabling the latter to benefit from the Group’s extensive expertise in the area of customer relations. This will be an opportunity for us to share the experience we have gathered from supplying energy to more than 30 million customers worldwide, to the advantage of new customers in West Africa.”