Ignite Power to provide solar electricity for over 2 million people in Sierra Leone
By Abdul Rashid Thomas, The Sierra Leone Telegraph Ignite Power, the leading solar-energy provider and financier in Africa, is gearing up operations in Sierra Leone. The company is aiming to supply solar home systems to more than 2 million people living in the rural areas of the country. When completed, the project will provide households with clean and permanent solution for the first time in their lives. According to UN data, over 5 million people in the country currently live without electricity in their homes. A safe and sustainable electricity will dramatically change the lives of millions of people, improving their health, education and economic opportunities. This new project will provide high value employment for more than 3,000 local installers, agents and management members, many of whom will be women (according to the company’s gender equality policy), says Ignite Power. It will also save over 350,000 tons of carbon emission in the country, leading to a more clean and sustainable market. As Ignite Power provides its customers with the most affordable pricing plan in Africa (less than 15 cents per day, 1 cent per 1 lumen-hour), the project will also save customers over $500 million on unreliable, hazardous energy spending. “Through technology and with our unique model, we provide customers with safe and green electricity at the lowest pricing plan in the continent,” says Yariv Cohen, Ignite Power’s CEO. “Our solar energy solutions are optimized for large deployment of rural electrification programs to reach vast areas, with rapid deployment at scale”. According to Cohen, following a successful pilot phase, that connected homes all across the country, thousands more home solar units are waiting in Ignite’s warehouse in the country, ready to be installed. The company says that it will also manage all installations and services, as well as provide upgrades as households affordability improves.
“With continued support from the government of Sierra Leone, we have an opportunity to secure all required support from international agencies who believe that transformational change is possible in Sierra Leone”, says Cohen. The editor of the Sierra Leone Telegraph – Abdul Rashid Thomas, asked Ignite Power about the total cost of the project; how it will be financed; and how they will recover their investment. This is what they said: “The total cost of the project is estimated at up to $55 million for phase one, and $100 million for phase two. Ignite Power will be responsible for the financing of the operation, through private-public partnership (PPP) with the government of Sierra Leone. “Ignite Power uses a leasing model, meaning customers pay a small amount of money each month for 2-3 years. After completing the payments, the customer owns the system. The company provides its customers with the most affordable price plan in Africa – less than 15 US cents per day, 1 cent per lumen hour.” About Ignite Power
Built for scale, Ignite Power is the only rural energy company designed to achieve 100% energy access. With the most affordable solar solutions in Africa and record deployment times, Ignite Power is the go-to energy company for governments and leaders wishing to connect entire communities to safe, clean power. To date, the company has already connected over 1.1 million people to electricity in 5 different countries throughout Africa, creating more than 3,500 local jobs.