10 Jul CDC-backed Gridworks shall invest in Mettle Solar Investments
Gridworks is a new company launched by CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, to invest in electricity networks across Africa. Gridworks shall invest R 106.7m (c. US$7.5 million) equity to become a shareholder in Mettle Solar Investments (“Mettle”), subject to certain conditions and regulatory approval.
Cleaner and cheaper sources
The investment will enable Mettle to realise its aim of providing cleaner and cheaper sources of electricity for businesses across Africa, also reducing carbon emissions. In a region where 70% of total energy use originates from commercial and industrial users, Mettle Solar Investments will be in a position to demonstrate the commercial viability of solar power for businesses in Africa.
Expanding its footprint
Mettle currently has 29 projects (15.4MW) in operation in South Africa, Namibia, Kenya & Indian Ocean islands with a further 12MW currently under construction. It plans to expand its footprint to other markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, Nigeria and Madagascar. Mettle also owns a 50% shareholding in Sustainable Power Solutions (Pty) Ltd, a leader in the construction and operation of solar photovoltaic systems is Sub-Saharan Africa.
Cheaper, reliable and cleaner
By providing cheaper, reliable and cleaner energy to businesses Mettle will help to reduce dependence on diesel generators and is a pioneer in the use of battery storage for business users in Africa. Solar Storage offers the potential to completely displace diesel consumption in off-grid sites as these systems are now competitive when compared to fuel powered generators.
Francois Verloren van Themaat, CEO of Mettle Solar Investments said:
“We are very excited to have CDC through Gridworks, as a major investor in our business. This investment will allow Mettle to offer its renewable energy products to clients in additional jurisdictions across the African continent and will give a big boost to our ongoing efforts to make renewable energy more accessible and affordable to everyone.”
Chris Chijiutomi, Head of Infrastructure Equity at CDC Group said:
“Enabling safe, stable, affordable and sustainable energy to commercial and industrial users is a key part of the CDC infrastructure investment strategy. We are excited that Gridworks is partnering with a business supported to date by a respected shareholder group which has built a strong team with the relevant expertise to further grow the business in some of CDC’s priority countries. Access to reliable power is a key barrier to economic development, we believe this investment will be one of many through Gridworks in the power distribution sector.”
Simon Hodson, CEO of Gridworks said:
“I’m delighted that Gridworks is able to make this investment and support a very capable management team in its expansion plans. With many countries in sub-Saharan Africa experiencing regular electricity shortages there’s a clear need for a reliable power supply to business. Our investment will help Mettle bring clean, reliable power to businesses in new African markets where power is often unreliable and leaves a greater carbon footprint.