The EU has approved a $3.4 million working capital facility under the European Development Finance Institution’s Electrification Financing Initiative (EDFI ElectriFI) Country Window for Nigeria – a $30 million country window dedicated to the Nigerian renewable energy market.
The facility will enable solar technology startup, Okra Solar, to provide electricity access through mesh-grid technology to mini-grid developers, targeting 76,000 beneficiaries by the end of 2025 in the West African country.
Okra Solar’s proprietary and innovative Okra Pod, a device sold with photovoltaic panels, batteries and inverters, will enable solar systems installed in households in underserved communities in Nigeria to communicate and share power through a low-voltage transmission cable, thus creating a regional mesh-grid.
“Even with off-grid solutions like mesh-grids being ten times cheaper than grid extension for hard-to-reach communities, 80 million people continue to live off-grid in Nigeria,” stated Afnan Hannan, Co-Founder and CEO of Okra Solar Energy, adding, “Okra is incredibly excited to work with EDFI ElectriFI to deploy innovative financial tools that will enable local developers to deploy mesh-grids at scale and continue rapidly bringing power to the people.”
Okra Solar has indicated its intention to deploy multiple pilot projects to bring energy to over 30,000 households in Nigeria over the next two to three years. “We are proud to contribute to facilitating and accelerating the development of micro- and mini-grids for rural electrification across Nigeria. Given the various awards received by Okra, we are confident that the highly skilled Okra Team will thrive within this complex industry,” stated Maud Watelet, ElectriFI Senior Investment Officer at the EDFI Management Company.
Serving to assist Okra Solar leverage the high demand for their technology in Nigeria, EDFI ElectriFI’s working capital facility aims to bridge the financing gap and penetrate the West African country’s market, speeding up sustainable electrification.
“The EU’s support to Okra through the ElectriFI Nigeria Country Window assists the country’s efforts in accelerating energy access to people in underserved and unserved communities,” stated Inga Stefanowicz, Head of Green and Digital Economy and Delegation of the EU to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States, adding, “As such, it is at the heart of our partnership with Nigeria, which among others, aims at improving reliable access to seize the environmental, social and economic potential of renewable energy.”