Press Release: Husk Power Systems Becomes First Minigrid Company to Power 100 Communities, 5,000 Small Business Customers
Today, Husk Power Systems, (huskpowersystems.com), the leading rural energy company operating renewable minigrids in Asia and Africa, announced that it has achieved two industry firsts: surpassing 100 community minigrids, and serving more than 5,000 micro-enterprise customers.
Despite the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Husk Power has demonstrated its resilience by achieving zero service disruption and providing emergency financial support to existing and new customers. As a result, it continued to grow from March to September, seeing a 52% increase in customers in India, while revenue grew by 101% during the same period. Similar growth occurred in its Africa markets.
The 100 minigrids, located in India and Tanzania with near-term expansion to additional African markets including Nigeria, represent a more than 10-fold increase from mid-2018. Average capacity of the minigrids is 50 kW, a system size that is significantly larger than most other rural energy service providers and able to power multiple productive loads for a range of small businesses, including retail shops, factories, agricultural processing and cold storage, water filtration and schools, as well as households.
Micro-enterprise customers of Husk Power on average have seen a 33% increase in profits once connected to the minigrids, according to the company’s market research.
“We’re now able to roll out at least 2 new minigrids per week, one of the fastest growth rates in the industry, and there is still considerable room for acceleration,” said CEO and founder Manoj Sinha. “Hitting 100 minigrids is a stepping stone to becoming the first commercially viable minigrid company in the world and to doubling our minigrid fleet to 200 in the next 12 months. This is in line with our vision of reaching 5,000 minigrid sites serving 500,000 micro-enterprise customers.”
Husk Power’s rapid growth has been supported by its success in raising US$25 million in equity financing from leading investors, including FMO, Shell, Swedfund and ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies.
Brad Mattson, chairman of the Husk Power Board of Directors, said: “Husk Power is demonstrating what scale looks like for the minigrid sector, setting the company up for another breakthrough year in 2021, in which we plan to achieve operating profitability.“
Added The Rockefeller Foundation’s Senior Vice President for Power & Climate, Ashvin Dayal: “Even in this time of global crisis and a nationwide lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19, Husk Power Systems has been able to provide safe, reliable electricity for homes, businesses and essential services across rural India. We are proud to support their efforts through our Smart Power India initiative, and I commend the entire team for reaching this important milestone in their work to power lives and livelihoods.”
Jaideep Mukherji, CEO of Smart Power India, commented: “Husk Power’s 100th minigrid is a significant milestone along the path to achieving reliable electricity for all. Husk Power has notably pioneered the off-grid power generation and distribution model in India. Their end-to-end innovative, technology-led energy solutions have the capacity to be replicated and sustained across the globe. Minigrid services will continue to play an important part in rural India’s social and economic development, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. I congratulate Manoj and team for the strong leadership and perseverance that they have shown in supporting the sector’s efforts in providing good quality power to the last mile.”
Photo courtesy of IRENA.