When Femi Adeyemo founded Arnergy a few years back, his plan was to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy solutions in Nigeria by looking inwards, but providence had another plan for the telecommunications engineering guru, not only because he is hardworking but also because his love for details is unparalleled.
Seven years down the line, Adeyemo has not only built an organization that seamlessly creates solutions that make the environment safer but has successfully built a brand that has got the attention of Bill Gates and his billionaires’ friends. The billionaires included Arnergy Solutions in the Top 5 cleantech outfits that will help save the planet.
Bill Gates’ plan is to invest in scientific breakthroughs that have the potential to deliver cheap and reliable clean energy to the world. The ultimate goal is to shepherd new zero-emissions technologies to the market.
With this development, Adeyemo’s Arnergy broke the jinx, not just because it is a Nigerian firm but also because most of Breakthrough Energy’s portfolio companies are located in the United States.
As quoted in a recent article published by Forbes “Operating out of Lagos, Nigeria, Arnergy leases and sells what it calls solar energy systems—bulky cabinet-size apparatuses on wheels fitted with solar panels and batteries that essentially serve as solar-powered generators. The technical gear is accompanied by a software platform that allows clients to monitor and control their energy usage in real-time.”
Arnergy’s goal is to ensure that shops and banks can stay open with its solutions even when the electric grid fails. According to the CEO, Arnergy’s systems allow businesses in countries like Nigeria to pay for clean energy at the same or a lower price as traditional fossil-fuel sources.
“Each of our 5-kilowatt modular systems is displacing diesel and petrol generators on a daily basis,” Adeyemo said.
The Nigerian distributed utility company, Arnergy, raised $9 Million in a Series A round of funding for renewable energy systems led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures with participation from the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund), ElectriFI (EDFI Management Company), and All On.
The company harnesses the combination of solar power, superior storage solutions and proprietary remote management technologies to deliver scalable, reliable and affordable energy solutions that are tailored to tackle issues related to intermittency and grid unreliability. Since its launch, Arnergy has delivered over 3MW of installed capacity and over 9MWh of storage capacity to business and residential clients across Nigeria.
Adeyemo, who decided to start the business after seeing how the Middle East was using solar energy to power telecom towers, explained that Arnergy sells to both small businesses and large enterprise data centres and has deployed 600 systems to customers that include the Nigerian branches of Citibank and KPMG, as well as industrial conglomerate Dangote Group.
“Here, it’s not a function of ‘it is good for the climate’ alone—it’s also even good for the pockets,” Adeyemo said.
What you should know
Breakthrough Energy Ventures brought together more than 20 (now 28) investors, largely billionaires to invest in scientific breakthroughs that have the potential to deliver cheap and reliable clean energy to the world. The ultimate goal is to shepherd new zero-emissions technologies to the market.
Since then, it has backed dozens of startups developing green technology innovations that range from replacing fossil fuels with carbon-free equivalents to inventing meat alternatives. “We’re only focused on investments that will have a substantial effect on climate change,” Gates told Forbes earlier this year.