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Indian solar kits firm raises Sh108m for Kenya expansion

The funds will be used to further expand Orb’s residential and commercial solar business. FILE PHOTO | NMG
The funds will be used to further expand Orb’s residential and commercial solar business. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

An India-based solar kits firm has raised $1.05 million (Sh108.2 million) in equity financing to finance its expansion in Kenya at a time when the source of energy is gaining popularity.

Orb Energy, headquartered in Bangalore, has received $500,000 in funding from Pamiga, an impact investor that supports African SMEs, and a further $550,000 from Germany development finance institution DEG.

The solar firm has received the financing as part of $15 million (Sh1.5 billion) recent commitments in a fresh round of fundraising to support its business in India and Kenya.

“These funds (Sh108.2 million) will be used to further expand Orb’s residential and commercial solar business in Kenya, where Orb has sold more than 10,000 systems since 2014,” Orb Energy said in a statement.

Solar experts reckon that Kenya, like most African countries, has high potential for solar energy generation given high radiation levels from the sun throughout the year.

The intensity of sunlight, not heat levels, determines solar electricity production. Kenya’s total installed power capacity is 2,370 megawatts, with solar power accounting for less than one per cent.

This has presented a huge market for independent investors to supply kits to off-grid customers. In recent years, the local solar kits market has attracted multinationals like San Francisco-based Angaza Design and Germany-based Mobisol as well as local company M-Kopa.

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