Gridworks, the company set up this year to develop and invest in Africa’s electricity networks, on Monday announced the financial close of its investment in Mettle Solar Investments.
Mettle is a South Africa-based commercial and industrial (C&I) solar power company that provides energy solutions to business customers across Africa.
Mettle will receive R106.7-million of equity funding from Gridworks.
The investment by Gridworks will also see Mettle appoint Mbuvi Ngunze as its new chairperson.
Ngunze is an experienced African business leader, who is currently a senior adviser at Catalyst Principal Partners.
Mettle currently has 34 projects with a total capacity of 28.1 MW in operation in South Africa, Namibia, Kenya and the Indian Ocean islands with a further 2.3 MW currently under construction.
It works with business clients to fund, develop and operate solar power technologies, including battery storage, that provide consistent, affordable clean energy.
Gridworks’ investment, its first since launching in June, is expected to help Mettle access new markets across Africa.
The investment aims to reduce carbon emissions and demonstrate the commercial viability of C&I systems for businesses on a continent where 70% of total energy demand currently comes from commercial and industrial customers.
Capitalised by CDC, Gridworks plans to invest more than $300-million in improving transmission and distribution infrastructure to deliver reliable and sustainable power.
Gridworks’ mandate covers transmission and distribution infrastructure, as well as on- and off-grid solutions, which include minigrids and C&I solar systems.
Two Gridworks representatives, Simon Hodson and Chris Flavin, will sit on Mettle’s board of directors.