This partnership will bring 24-hour electricity to households, healthcare centers and schools in Ondo and Kwara state.
Okra Solar, an Australian technology company using advanced digital monitoring, billing and mesh-grids to make electrification more affordable to underserved communities in Africa and Asia, has signed an MoU with SAO Group.
SAO group is one of Africa’s leading social impact investment and multi-competency advisor firms to energize community households, Primary Healthcare Centers (PHC) and Digital Literacy Centers (DLC) in South West of Nigeria.
The alliance will see both parties work together to structure a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that will secure finance for the scale-out of Okra mesh-grids in Ondo and Kwara State.
SAO and Okra Solar will be responsible for raising 6M USD for this SPV that will bring electricity to severely impacted communities, some of whom have been without electricity for 3 years despite being connected to the grid.
Currently, SAO has agreements in place with the Kwara state government for the electrification of up to 1,000 schools, and an agreement with the Ondo state government for the electrification of up to 584 primary health care centers.
“There are more than 150,000 unelectrified households in the proximity of schools and PHCs in these areas that would be suitable for electrification through Okra’s mesh-grid technology,” said Indranil Roy, Business Development Manager, Okra Solar Nigeria on the selection criteria for the pilot project.
“Visiting the communities in Kwara that we considered for the pilot, it was clear that in addition to powering the households, we need to be connecting the schools and Primary healthcare centers as well,” Roy said.
“As a company that takes pride in its reputation for quality work across many sectors of Nigeria’s environment, we are delighted to have partnered with Okra for the roll-out of clean and very affordable energy solutions, starting in rural communities, where households are primarily dependent on imported fuels or have no energy at all,” said Ayodeji Sotinrin, Chief Executive Officer of SAO Group.
“This programme will ensure every household is given access to energy, our primary health facilities are no longer faced with operating under torchlight and our schools have the required supply of power to enable the introduction of Information Technology systems to its curriculum, allowing for enhanced education, increased employability and better livelihoods to all,” Sotinrin stated.
As part of SAO Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda, the group will finance two pilot projects that will provide 24-hour energy to 198 households, 2 schools and 2 PHCs.
This will also validate the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) within the SPV business model, and furthermore, act as a showcase to attract funding from national and international donor organisations.
This pilot project is aimed for commissioning in March 2022 and is eligible under the NEP program supported by the REA, world bank and African Development Bank. It is a showcase of a new technology and business model being introduced to the Nigerian off-grid electrification ecosystem.
About Okra Solar
Okra Solar is a social enterprise that uses IoT system design, AI automation to bring power to remote communities in low-income countries. Okra Solar is on a mission to unlock the potential of remote communities by providing affordable energy access to all.
Grid operators can easily monitor, maintain, service and receive payment from end-users via the cloud whilst scaling up projects and building a profitable business. Okra Solar works in partnership with energy utilities, local governments and international donors to deploy rural development projects.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @Okra_solar.
SAO Group, whose corporate offices are in Abuja, Lagos and London, is one of the leading social impact investment and multi-competency advisory firms with a national and global outlook that focuses on the strategic development of transformational projects that create a sustainable economic impact for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work.
Our founder and partners have extensive international and local experience in development finance and infrastructure development in their respective fields, having collectively been involved in the financing and development of projects in excess of $10billion.