OPIC and Greenlight Planet Partner to Expand Off-Grid Energy Access in the Developing World
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. government’s development finance institution, signed an agreement withGreenlight Planet to finalize $5 million in OPIC financing to support the scaling up of Greenlight Planet, Inc, a provider of affordable off-grid solar energy systems to homes and businesses across the developing world. Greenlight Planet’s global development starts with a passion for delivering clean, affordable energy to underserved communities, paired with a sustainable business and distribution strategy. Today, they impact 15 million users across 40+ countries.
Greenlight Planet, with its products branded as Sun KingTM, provides high quality affordable solar lighting and phone charging devices to populations living off the electric grid in emerging markets throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America. With this OPIC growth financing, Greenlight Planet will expand its global distribution network in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
“We’re building the world’s largest rooftop solar consumer base in emerging markets and are delighted to have OPIC’s expertise on-board. This financing enables us to massively expand distribution globally and commercialize a much demanded pay-as-you-go solution by our consumers,” says Anish Thakkar, Greenlight Planet’s CEO and Co-Founder. “We are targeting an aggressive penetration of 30% of the off-grid households by 2020.”
“The expansion of off-grid energy solutions at scale is crucial to bring connectivity, opportunity, and security to populations that live away from the grid,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO. “Greenlight Planet’s strategy draws together clear development impact goals with a sound business plan and innovative partnerships to open up wider distribution. I’m looking forward to the results of OPIC’s support to them.”
OPIC’s support to Greenlight Planet is a product of the Portfolio for Impact, an OPIC financing innovation designed to support highly-developmental impact investment projects that, due to size and structure, would otherwise face difficulty in obtaining financing.