Husk Power Systems, an off-grid energy provider, has completed more than 100 community minigrids and provided power for 5,000 small business customers in Asia and Africa, according to a company’s announcement. It also says that the company expects to serve new African markets soon, including Nigeria.
The 100 minigrids in India and Tanzania each provide about 50 kW of power, enough energy to bring electricity to homes, schools, agricultural processing facilities, retail shops, factories, cold storage, and water filtration operations.
A Fort Collins, Colorado-based company, Husk makes hybrid minigrids using solar and biomass gasification technology coupled with battery storage. Rice husks and corn cobs provide the fuel for the gasifiers. The company contends it makes the world’s lowest-cost, grid-compatible systems, at less than $2.35 per watt or $300 per connection. Husk offers its customers a “pay-as-you-go” energy service, using a mobile-enabled smart metering system.
“Husk Power expects to double its minigrid fleet to 200 projects in the next 12 months, according to Manoj Sinha, Husk Power’s founder and CEO. “We’re now able to roll out at least two new minigrids per week.”
According to the company’s market research, Husk Power’s micro-enterprise customers see an average 33% increase in profits once connected to the minigrids. The company announcement notes that despite the coronavirus pandemic induced economic downturn, Husk Power had no service disruptions and continued to provide emergency financial support to existing and new customers.
“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, said Ashvin Dayal, the Rockefeller Foundation’s senior vice president for power & climate.
An investment of $25 million in equity financing from investors, including FMO, Shell, Swedfund and ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies has helped Husk Powers grow. The company hopes to provide electricity to 10 million people in Asia and Africa by 2030.
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