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Bboxx, a Pan-African off-grid pay-as-you-go solar provider and French multinational telecom operator, Orange S. A. has partnered to launch a new solar mini-grid project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to accelerate the provision of clean energy access for the households across the country.
Bboxx’s partnership with Orange is one of the many ventures under its ‘Connected Community’ program which aims to deliver 750 mini-grids for one million people across Africa within the next five years. The solar electrification program will employ an innovative and cost-effective ‘Anchor Business Model’ (ABC) model.
The ABC model is a rural energy development strategy under which the power producers target anchor customers to reduce the operational risk of the business in areas of uncertain demand. This model incentivizes and facilitates electrification for all types of customers in a community.
Bboxx plans to integrate its proprietary fully integrated operating system, Bboxx Pulse with Orange Energie’s smart metering platform to closely monitor the solar mini-grids performance and remotely manage the customers, including payments collection through PAYGO solutions.
Using this innovative technological model, Bboxx will be launching 24 new mini-grid projects across the DRC over the coming months. The new mini-grid model will electrify 150,000 people by 2024, directly addressing the energy poverty in the country.
The new partnership begins with the recent launch of a mini-grid site in Bukavu, South Kivu province. The mini-grid opening ceremony was attended by Théo Nguabidje Kasi, Governor of South Kivu, along with Laurent Van Houcke, Co-founder of Bboxx & MD of Bboxx Capital, Akim Musimwa, Orange DRC’s Regional Director, and Idesbald Chinamula, MD of ANSER.
Together with Go Shop, Bboxx has created a joint venture company to develop this hybrid mini-grid plant that will supply clean electricity to Orange’s telecoms infrastructure. The plant will generate 85% of the required energy through solar, as well as connect the local population around the telecom facility to clean energy solutions.
Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and Co-Founder of Bboxx, said their partnership with Orange is vital towards connecting more customers across Sub-Saharan Africa to essential utilities and transforming lives with clean energy. This collaboration will help their mission of reaching SDG7 and SDG8. Bboxx is focused to launch additional solar mini-grid projects in the future and take a step closer to reaching these UN’s fundamental goals.
Akim Musimwa mentioned that with the vision of providing essential services like the provision of sustainable and clean energy for the DRC’s population, Orange aims to deliver a positive impact on the local community, through their partnership.