Husk Power 1st Minigrid Firm to Power 100 Communities, 5000 Micro-Enterprise Customers

Husk Power has achieved two industry firsts: surpassing 100 community minigrids and serving more than 5,000 micro-enterprise customers.

Husk Power Systems, a leading rural energy company operating renewable minigrids in Asia and Africa, has announced that it has achieved two industry firsts: surpassing 100 community minigrids and serving more than 5,000 micro-enterprise customers.

Despite the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the firm has demonstrated its resilience by achieving zero service disruption and providing emergency financial support to existing and new customers. As a result, it continued to grow from March to September, seeing a 52 percent increase in customers in India, while revenue grew by 101 percent during the same period. Similar growth occurred in its African markets.

The 100 minigrids, located in India and Tanzania with near-term expansion to additional African markets including Nigeria, represent a more than 10-fold increase from mid-2018. The average capacity of the minigrids is 50 kW, a system size that is significantly larger than most other rural energy service providers and able to power multiple productive loads for a range of small businesses, including retail shops, factories, agricultural processing and cold storage, water filtration and schools, as well as households.

Micro-enterprise customers of Husk Power on average have seen a 33 percent increase in profits once connected to the minigrids, according to the company’s market research.

“We’re now able to roll out at least 2 new minigrids per week, one of the fastest growth rates in the industry, and there is still considerable room for acceleration,” said CEO and founder Manoj Sinha. “Hitting 100 minigrids is a stepping stone to becoming the first commercially viable minigrid company in the world and to doubling our minigrid fleet to 200 in the next 12 months. This is in line with our vision of reaching 5,000 minigrid sites serving 500,000 micro-enterprise customers.”

Husk Power’s rapid growth has been supported by its success in raising USD 25 million in equity financing from leading investors, including FMO, Shell, Swedfund and ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies.

Brad Mattson, chairman of the Husk Power Board of Directors, said “Husk Power is demonstrating what scale looks like for the minigrid sector, setting the company up for another breakthrough year in 2021, in which we plan to achieve operating profitability.“

Rockefeller Foundation’s Senior Vice President for Power & Climate, Ashvin Dayal added “Even in this time of global crisis and a nationwide lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19, Husk Power Systems has been able to provide safe, reliable electricity for homes, businesses and essential services across rural India. We are proud to support their efforts through our Smart Power India initiative, and I commend the entire team for reaching this important milestone in their work to power lives and livelihoods.”

In October, we had reported that the Bihar-based next-generation power company had received an investment of USD 5 million from the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO. The USD 5 million investment from FMO, which was deployed from its Infrastructure Development Fund, followed a USD 20 million investment in 2018 by Shell, Swedfund, ENGIE Rassembleurs D’Energies.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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