Orb Energy operates primarily in India, where it owns two manufacturing facilities - one for solar PV panels (pictured here) and the other for solar water heating systems in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The company expanded to Kenya in 2014. (Photo Credit: Orb Energy)
- Orb Energy has secured over $15 million in equity and debt from international agencies
- It will use this to grow the in-house facility of rooftop solar for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in India and also to further its operations in Kenya
- Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) has provided $4 million in equity, a repeat investment after the $2 million it invested in Orb in 2015
- Another $10 million as long-term debt has come from the Overseas Private Investment Corp.
- For the Kenya operations, $500,000 has come as equity investment from Pamiga and $550,000 from a German development finance institution
Indian solar PV panel manufacturer Orb Energy has raised over $15 million in equity and debt for rooftop solar. The investment will help the company to grow its in-house facility of rooftop solar for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in India, as well as further expand its operations in Kenya.
The Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) has provided $4 million in equity, while the Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC) signed a loan agreement with Orb for $10 million in long-term debt. This is a repeat investment in Orb Energy for FMO, with the previous $2 million invested in 2015.
“We see this as a vote of confidence in our unique approach to the solar market in India, which has allowed us to leverage a further $10 million from OPIC to expand our finance platform for SMEs looking to save money on their electricity bill with their own rooftop solar system,” said Orb CEO Damian Miller.
Before starting Orb in 2006, Miller was director for rural operations at Shell Solar and launched the oil company’s solar business in India.
Over $1 million for Kenyan operations
Orb also raised more than $1 million for its solar operations in Kenya, where it has been present since 2014. The investment includes $500,000 in equity from investment firm Pamiga and $550,000 from German development finance institution DEG, using funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (BMZ) upscaling program. With this investment coming in, Orb will be able to further expand its residential and commercial solar business in Kenya, where it has sold more than 10,000 systems in total.
Orb provides finance to SMEs to reduce their electricity costs by helping them own a rooftop solar system. The finance facility offered matches their payback period, after which time their power is effectively free. An easy process to avail Orb’s credit is driving “solid growth in Orb’s commercial sales of rooftop solar systems,” said the management.
The company owns two manufacturing facilities producing solar PV panels and solar water heating systems located in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It expects its annual rooftop solar system sales in FY 2019/20 to grow up to 50 MW annually, tripling from 15 MW in FY 2017/18.