Oikocredit Invests In India & Uganda Solar

Off-Grid East African Company SolarNow Raises $9 Million From Oikocredit, responsAbility & SunFunder To Deploy Solar Systems In Uganda; India’s Oakridge Energy Raises Line Of Credit From Oikocredit’s Indian Subsidiary
06:24 AM (Beijing Time) - 14. January 2019
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It is the second time that Oikocredit, responsAbility and SunFunder have funded SolarNow - this time with $9 million. In October 2017, the three provided a $6 million financing facility to the Easy African off-grid solar company. (Photo Credit: SolarNow)

Key Takeaways

  • Oikocredit, responsAbility and Sunfunder have closed $9 million in debt financing for off-grid solar company SolarNow
  • SolarNow will use the proceeds to install off-grid solar systems for 17,500 customers in Uganda, translating into 2.5 MW of total off-grid solar capacity
  • Indian rooftop solar company Oakridge Energy has also secured a line of credit from the Indian subsidiary of Oikocredit, Maanaveeya Development & Finance Private Limited

Oikocredit, a Netherlands based investment firm for microfinance institutions, along with asset manager responsAbility and SunFunder have closed $9 million in debt financing in SolarNow, an off-grid solar company operating in East Africa. This is SolarNow’s third structured asset finance instrument that it calls SAFI, arranged by solar finance start-up SunFunder.

A for profit social business, SolarNow sells, finances and installs 50 to 20 kW range modular solar systems and solar appliances to households and businesses in East Africa. It claims to have provided solar solutions to more than 35,000 clients.

It will now use the proceeds from the latest round of financing to deploy 17,500 new off-grid solar systems to customers in Uganda and a range of appliances. This translates into around 2.5 MW of new installed off-grid solar capacity, minimizing the use of kerosene for lighting. It claims it would also lead to improved energy access for more than 70,000 women in Uganda.

The first time Oikocredit, a responsAbility managed private debt fund, and SunFunder came together to finance SolarNow was in October 2017 when the 3 provided $6 million financing facility.

We have just had our 5-year anniversary working with SolarNow, and this takes us to $19m in investments that we’ve arranged or made directly in the company. We are proud to have backed SolarNow’s growth delivering top quality solar systems and appliances throughout Uganda,” said SunFunder’s Director of Investments, Surabhi Visser.

In late 2018, SunFunder secured $25 million from OPIC for off-grid solar companies in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia to help 3 million people gain access to clean energy (see $25mn From OPIC For Off-Grid Solar). The company says it expects to reach first close on a new $85 million funding in the coming weeks.

Oikocredit backs rooftop solar in India

Indian rooftop solar company Oakridge Energy has raised a first line of credit, whose amount hasn’t been disclosed, from the Indian subsidiary of Oikocredit – Hyderabad based Maanaveeya Development & Finance Private Limited.

Maanaveeya provides loans and investments for social enterprises in India. News agency IANS reported the deal will help Oakridge finance a pilot of residential solar rooftop installations, offering payment plans for residential home owners to install solar rooftop systems and provide easy repayment structures over 3 to 5 years.

Eyeing the rooftop solar market expected to grow to 5 GW over the next 5 years, Oakridge will also be installing solar panels of residential societies under a Delhi government scheme yet to be launched, under the World Bank’s Suprabha-technical assistance program.

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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Anu Bhambhani