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Impact investment companies All On and Katapult Climate are funding USD 1.4 million in NXT Grid, an innovative one-stop-shop for solar mini-grids. In Nigeria, the NXT Grid provides installation and operation of small-scale solar power plants for productive use, powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
All On and Katapult, the Amsterdam-based electricity access solutions provider, will leverage the funding to build 30 solar mini-grids by 2023. The funding will help NXT Grid to facilitate its expansion in Nigeria, as well as in the African market.
Fabio De Pascale, CEO and co-founder of NXT Grid, mentioned the company’s enormous potential in helping the private utility companies to gain autonomy from the Nigerian public electricity grid, which is plagued by load shedding.
“All On has already been a great partner for our Nigerian operations since their initial investment in 2020, while Katapult has provided us with access to key resources to be fully ready for our growth in the coming years. Solidifying our relationship with such strategic investors is another step on our path to achieve solar mini-grids everywhere, by anyone,” said Pascale.
NXT Grid’s innovative integrated platform facilitates easy installation and operation of solar mini-grids. The company combines AI-based software with rented solar equipment, to enable business customers to run their own town-sized utility, reducing the upfront costs by 80% and making the mini-grids economically as well as an environmentally sustainable alternative to generators. NXT Grid targets to connect over 2.5 million people and deploy more than 250 MW of solar mini-grids across Sub-Saharan Africa within 10 years.
Festus Goziem Okubor, Senior Investment Associate in All On said the investment in NXT Grid came after the company successfully implemented its model in the Niger Delta region with its first grids in 2021. The model has huge potential to disrupt the clean mini-grids industry in the country and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa. The company has reflected its unique ability to empower local companies and investors to sustainably build and operate solar mini-grids without any prior experience.
Nina Heir, CEO Katapult Accelerator & Katapult Climate, said, “For the first Katapult cohort focusing solely on climate tech, we evaluated more than 1,000 impressive companies from across the globe. NXT Grid’s offering of providing easily deployable solar mini-grids not only aligns with our investment criteria but speaks to the core of our vision of building a thriving world for all.”
According to a report of the World Bank, Nigerian businesses lose around $29 billion every year the account of the unreliability of their national power grid. For a countermeasure, Nigerian companies are turning to stand-alone solutions, including solar PV systems. Last month, soft drink manufacturer Seven-Up Bottling Company (SBC) collaborated with solar energy provider Daystar Power to develop 5 of its plants in Nigeria with solar PV systems.