Kazang Solar, distribution partner of Azuri Technologies in Zambia, has been awarded $1.6 million from the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) to provide solar home lighting products to more than 7,000 off-grid customers in rural Zambia.
The Azuri Quad solar home lighting system consists of a 10 watt solar panel, four bright LED lights, USB port and connectors for mobile phone charging, rechargeable radio, and rechargeable torch. It is also equipped with artificial intelligence that monitors weather conditions and learns customer usage patterns to adjust output to ensure a full night’s power.
“We are delighted to be one of only three companies to be selected and look forward to bringing Azuri’s life-changing technology to off-grid communities across Zambia,” said Kazang General Manager Chileshe Chilufya.
The project is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) under the Renewable Energy and Climate Adaptation Technologies (REACT) window.
Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO of Azuri said, “The fund supports innovative and transformational business models which characterises the Azuri and Kazang approach. Azuri looks forward to working with and providing continued support to Kazang as they deliver life-changing solar technology to customers across the country.”
Azuri has been providing commercial pay-as-you-go solar home systems to off-grid homes in Africa and has been working with Kazang in Zambia since 2016.
Earlier this year, Azuri Technologies announced the launch of its $20 million off-balance-sheet debt financing program. The initial phase of Azuri’s program would be deployed in Kenya to provide additional financing to the company for the supply of its PayGo solar systems to households across the country.
Recently, Mercom reported that Zambia launched the Renewable Energy Feed-in-Tariff (REFiT) strategy to provide a framework for deploying small and medium-sized renewable energy projects of up to 20 MW with private sector involvement. The objective is to bring 200 MW of renewable energy onto the grid within the next three to five years, with 100 MW going toward solar photovoltaic (PV) and 100 MW going toward small hydropower.
Investment activity has also picked up in the sector recently. In June 2018, the International Financial Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and the government of Canada teamed up to support Zambia with $25 million in financial aid for clean and affordable energy.
Earlier, Mercom reported that Sterling & Wilson, a global solar engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) company, was selected to provide EPC services for the construction of Zambia’s first utility-scale solar plant. The grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) project will have a capacity of 54.3 MW.
Image credit: Azuri
Nitin is a staff reporter at Mercomindia.com and writes on renewable energy and related sectors. Prior to Mercom, Nitin has worked for CNN IBN, India News, Agricultural Spectrum and Bureaucracy Today. He received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Communication from Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University and Master’s degree in International Relations from Jindal School of International Affairs. More articles from Nitin Kabeer