July 10, 2024

Solar Firm Gets $38m for Solar Energy Projects in Africa

Candi Solar has raised $38 million in its latest funding round to aid its plans to expand clean energy solutions in emerging markets in Asia and Africa. Philippe Flamand, the director and co-founder, discussed the funding and strategic goals in an interview with PV magazine.

Expanding Clean Energy in Africa

Candi Solar, a Switzerland-based renewable energy company with significant operations in Asia and Africa, has successfully raised $38 million in its latest funding round. This substantial capital injection will support the company's ambitious plans to deploy clean energy solutions in emerging markets across both continents. In an interview with PV magazine, Philippe Flamand, director and co-founder of Candi Solar, shared insights into the funding round and the company's strategic goals.

The funding comprises $20 million of equity capital from Norfund, $14.5 million from STOA, and $3.5 million from Kyuden International. Flamand emphasized the strategic importance of this funding, stating, "This is equity capital raised in this round, and there is an opportunity to leverage this with debt providers to extend the impact of the equity investment." The funds will be evenly distributed between the Asian and African markets, with $19 million specifically earmarked for projects in Africa.

In South Africa, Candi Solar has ambitious plans to deploy approximately 100 MW of solar capacity. The company's approach focuses on accelerating the adoption of clean energy by eliminating the upfront capital investment for businesses. "We help accelerate the wave of clean energy by taking out capital investment decisions for businesses,” Flamand explained. “We invest in the business up front and get paid per kilowatt delivered.”

Leveraging Advanced Technologies

Candi Solar has invested in advanced technologies like remote monitoring, AI, and machine learning to improve the efficiency of its distributed solar portfolio. These tools help manage installations for optimal performance and reliability. Director Philippe Flamand noted that while the market has been chaotic due to panic buying from load shedding, it is maturing as consumers become more discerning about long-term investments.

Flamand expressed optimism about the company's growth prospects across Africa, noting that the ongoing issues with load shedding present both challenges and opportunities. “The load-shedding story is still a challenge to market participants like businesses, but it's creating an opportunity for us,” he said. “We expect electricity prices to rise, creating an opportunity for us to offer solar as a solution and accelerate the use of clean, more sustainable energy one rooftop at a time.”

Candi Solar specializes in commercial and industrial (C&I) solar projects, primarily focusing on rooftop and behind-the-meter installations. The company has successfully completed multiple projects in South Africa, including a 400 kW system at Kings Park Stadium in Durban, a 135 kW installation for Schindler, and a 1.5 MW solar plant at a timber mill. Flamand highlighted the strategic shift in South Africa from merely seeking cost savings to addressing more pressing issues such as load shedding. "When we started in South Africa, load shedding was not a big topic,” he noted.

Future Prospects

Candi Solar's phased strategic approach in Africa often includes coupling solar installations with battery storage, enhancing the resilience and reliability of the energy supply. This is particularly important in regions where grid stability is a concern. The company’s innovative business model, which removes the financial burden from businesses by covering the initial investment and charging per kilowatt-hour delivered, has proven effective in promoting the adoption of renewable energy.

Looking ahead, Candi Solar plans to continue expanding its footprint in both Africa and Asia, leveraging the $38 million in new funding to drive further growth and development. The company's focus on commercial and industrial solar projects positions it well to address the growing demand for reliable, clean energy in emerging markets.

Candi Solar's recent funding round and strategic initiatives underscore its commitment to sustainable energy and its role in the global transition to renewable power. By deploying advanced technologies and innovative business models, the company is poised to make a significant impact on the energy landscape in Africa and Asia, paving the way for a greener and more sustainable future.

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