The fast-growing market for off-grid renewable energy systems received a boost yesterday, as leading African developer PowerGen announced it has acquired rival off-grid specialist Rafiki Power from European energy giant E.ON.
The companies said the deal – financial details for which were not disclosed – will “help build momentum for private utilities on the continent” as developers strive to bring power to the 600 million people still lacking access to electricity.
The acquisition brings together two of the most mature companies operating in the expanding off-grid renewables market, which brings a combination of renewable generation assets, energy storage, and micro-grid technologies to remote rural communities.
PowerGen was established in 2011 and now boast 100 full time employees across four markets – Kenya, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. It has to date connected 50,000 people to smart, clean micro-grids.
Meanwhile, Rafiki Power is the brand name under E.ON’s Off Grid Solutions division, which was founded in 2014.
PowerGen said the deal would provide it with “micro-grid assets, project pipeline, software IP, and human resources from E.ON Off-Grid Solutions”.
“PowerGen and E.ON Off-Grid Solutions have shared a common vision for a long time: to transform lives by building the energy system of the future in Africa,” said Aaron Cheng, president of PowerGen. “We are excited to combine our experience, knowledge, resources, and cultures in order to further our progress towards this shared vision. We greatly admire the E.ON Off-Grid Solutions team and are thrilled to be working closely with them as we build the smart, clean energy system of the future in Africa through micro-grids.”
A spokesman for E.ON said the acquisition should help to drive the continued expansion of the off-grid sector. “In Africa the market for local electricity grids is now growing strongly,” he said. “With its partner PowerGen, which is truly focused on Africa, Rafiki Power can take the next step in its development and drive expansion at a rapid pace.”