Husk Secures Funding For Solar Microgrids in Rural India

Highlights :

  • Husk Power Systems Secures Largest-Ever Debt Finance for Solar Microgrids in Rural India, Receiving US$4 Million from IREDA to Construct 140 Microgrids in rural UP and Bihar
Husk Secures Funding For Solar Microgrids in Rural India Minigrid Developer Husk Power Closes $43 Million In Series D Funding

Patna based Husk Power Systems, the rural clean energy services leader in Africa and Asia and operator of the largest fleet of community solar microgrids in India, today announced the successful close of a Rs.31 crores  ($4.2 million) debt financing from the India Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) Ltd.

Besides the IREDA loan, Husk expects to raise an additional $18 million (approx. Rs 135 crores)  in debt in 2022 to fuel accelerated project deployment, while also kicking off fundraising for a Series D equity round in Q1. The company has built a robust project pipeline in both India and Africa, and expects to have about 1,300 grids in operation by 2025 across multiple markets. It’s work has played a stellar role in making a strong case for more mini-grids worldwide.

The new India debt, part of a line of credit provided by German development bank KfW to IREDA to assist developers in scaling off-grid energy projects, will be used to finance 140 microgrids in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, where Husk has been serving rural communities since 2008, including thousands of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

The IREDA loan to Husk represents the biggest debt financing for rural microgrids in India to date. IREDA is a state-owned non-banking financial institution (NBFI) under the administrative control of India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). It promotes, develops and extends financial assistance to renewable energy projects.

“The IREDA financing demonstrates the Government of India’s vision in making microgrids an integral part of its net-zero goal put forward at COP26,” said Husk CEO and Co-Founder Manoj Sinha. ”This is a huge validation of Husk Power’s leadership in being the first company to achieve commercial scale. The IREDA funding will give Husk a much-needed boost to achieve our target of expanding our microgrid fleet 10x by 2025.”

Added Husk CFO Naveen Garg: “We’re extremely grateful to IREDA, KfW and technical consultants PwC for the close collaboration that made this financing possible.”

Husk recently signed an Energy Compact with the United Nations, committing to build 5,000 microgrids with 1 million connections by 2030 in India, Nigeria and other countries in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Founded in 2008, Husk Power Systems has been a pioneering firm providing energy access in rural areas, where it started off by using rice husk as the raw material to generate power. The firm has moved slowly yet surely to expand its wings, first to Africa, and now, to off grid solar microgrids, leveraging its immense experience with rural communities and infrastructure requirements.

The firm typically sets up power plants of 20-250kW size, with a pay as you go model. It claims to have broken even at a corporate level in 2016, despite the challenging nature of its markets. It’s investors include Dutch investment bank FMO, Engie, Shell Ventures, Acumen and more.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International