BBOXX, a next generation utility, has launched pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar systems in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in collaboration with solar component manufacturer Victron Energy.
According to Mansoor Hamayun, Chief Executive Officer of BBOXX: “We are already making an impact in rural DRC with our smart solar systems, providing an on-grid experience in an off-grid setting. There is still a significant need for reliable energy in urban areas and we believe that this collaboration will help deliver a sustainable solution for consumers and businesses alike in towns and cities in the DRC.
BBOXX has so far launched operations in Goma, Eastern DRC – a region with a population of over 1.5 million, and where blackouts commonly exceed five hours daily. Less than 14 per cent of citizens in the DRC have access to any form of reliable electricity, which is a significant barrier to economic development.
BBOXX says the collaboration with Victron will help it serve the energy needs of urban areas of the DRC, providing SMEs such as grocery stores, restaurants and micro-processors, with productive power solutions of up to 5.0kW
The collaboration will see large solar solutions deployed on BBOXX’s PAYG model, utilising Victron energy components. Significantly, these systems will be linked to BBOXX’s Pulse platform. This connects the customer to the product and also drives efficiency in business operations, for example by linking up to BBOXX’s customer service teams. It also provides remote monitoring and management of its solar systems.
These large solar energy solutions will eliminate the time wasted by businesses on solving disruption to energy supply due to these frequent power cuts, thereby improving productivity and giving businesses reliable power necessary to scale up. It also increases access to affordable and clean energy, reducing reliance on diesel generators.
The solution is already available to distributors, and a similar service has been rolled out to customers in Pakistan through BBOXX’s partner, EcoEnergy.
Last year, BBOXX announced it would bring electricity to an additional 150,000 Rwandans, after it successfully closed a US$5 million facility with Deutsche Asset Management’s Essential Capital Consortium. The Essential Capital Consortium is a fund managed by Deutsche Asset Management. The facility is being managed in country by Atlas Mara’s Rwandan entity, Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR), which is already a lender to BBOXX.
Matthijs Vader, Managing Director of Victron Energy said: “We believe the collaboration with BBOXX will provide opportunities for rural and urban populations to move up the energy ladder with quality solar systems.
“The combination of our MPPT solar chargers and pure sine inverters generates enough to power productive loads such as refrigeration or agricultural machinery. It also addresses the demand from the urban and peri-urban households with higher energy needs but unreliable grid supply. As an innovative technology manufacturer we have developed technical features particularly beneficial for pay-as-you-go systems – including remote monitoring access, smart battery management and overload protections – which link up effectively with BBOXX software solutions.”
BBOXX is currently operating in several other African countries, including Rwanda, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria and Togo and has so far deployed 150,000 of its solar systems connecting more than half a million people in 35 countries across the globe to reliable electricity for lights, smart phones and home appliances.