Powerhive’s advanced solar-backed microgrids to power the developing countries

than a century after the lightbulb was invented; 1.3 billion people worldwide
— or 18% of the global population and 22% of those living in developing
countries — still lack access to electricity. About 97% of those people live
in sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia, according to the International
Energy Agency’s 2014 World Energy Outlook report.
The high cost of extending
electricity grids to rural communities dispersed over large geographical regions
means that millions of people are dependent on forms of energy which are
unsafe, expensive, and have limited productive capacity.

a mission of creating a future where everyone has access to a plentiful supply
of electricity; Powerhive offers hardware and software for smarter microgrids,
and is successfully providing villages all over Kenya with solar electricity,
battery storage, and real-time response. Powerhive is a technology venture
founded in 2011 that partner with utilities and independent power producers to
provide access to productive, affordable, and reliable microgrids electricity
for millions of rural homes and businesses around the globe. Our proprietary
technology platform and business model enables the financing, monetization, and
management of distributed microgrids solutions.

Credit: Powerhive

started with four pilot projects in Kisii, Kenya, with a total of 80 kilowatts
of capacity. The projects served 300 customers, or about 1500 people. Powerhive
has the technology for microgrids covered from end to end. First, they use Site
Wizard for Analysis, Reconnaissance, and Mapping (SWARM) to identify the
markets that could be suitable for microgrids. It looks at satellite imagery
and data that has already been collected by other sources to see what locations
would generate the most power. Then, a team from Powerhive visits the site to
talk to people on the ground and gauge customer interest.

23 percent of Kenya’s population had access to electricity in 2010, according
to World Bank estimates. The pilot projects reached more than 1,500 people who
paid for the energy with their mobile phones, proving the viability of a
business model that First Solar and Powerhive now plan to expand. “It will
enable us to cost-effectively reach tens of millions of people in rural
villages unserved by grids while offering strong risk-weighted returns to
investors,” Powerhive Chief Executive Officer Christopher Hornor said in the statement.
Kenya has more than 44 million residents.

offers key tools and services for implementing profitable rural electrification
projects in energy access markets around the globe. Their technology platform is
ideal for energy providers and developers of any size, and can be integrated
with new projects or as a retrofit for existing microgrids. As a complement to
our technology platform, our experienced team can assist businesses with every
step of development, deployment, and operations. We are the partner of choice
for project developers, utilities, government agencies and other organizations
that require scalable, profitable electricity solutions in underserved or
off-grid areas.

further in Powerhive


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