First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) and Powehive are making plans for major expansions to the solar power microgrids they set up in two remote villages two years ago in Kenya.
Powerhive made an announcing statement revealing their plan to supply over 200,000 homes with electricity. The electricity supplied is solar generated and is not connected to the country’s power grid.
Estimates made by World Bank’s survey carried out in 2010 revealed that only 23% of the country total population has access to electric power. More than 1500 people benefitted micro grid solar project. The project was specially made easier by mobile payments through Mpesa, which allowed the beneficiaries to pay easily for the services.
Officer Christopher Hornor, who is the current chief executive officer of Powerhive, said that the company expects to expand the system in order to accommodate more subscribers. The service especially targets the rural areas that are not served by the national grid. Both companies stated that the project was a sure investment especially because of how well the project has performed since it was initiated.
The country has a population of about 44 million people, most of whom do not have access to electricity. It is, therefore, easy to see that the project stands to be very successful once it can provide to most of those in the dark, so to speak.
First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) discretely invested in Powerhive back in 2013 with the company’s vice president, arc van Gerven on the board. The CEO said that they joined the venture with the idea that of a Demand-driven world. The companies plan on building an 80-kilowatt capacity plant. They, however, declined to disclose how much the plant will cost to set up.
The solar project from the two companies has so far been extremely beneficial to the beneficiaries. Businesses are now thriving thanks to easily accessible electricity. Examples of such businesses include small corn milling businesses, barber shops, Battery charging stations among others. Residential homes have benefitted the most.