U.S. finance corps funds Nigerian solar project with $35m

Lumos, Africa’s solar home system provider, has announced new financing from U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to expand its existing market for reliable, accessible and clean solar power in Nigeria. The new financing will enable Lumos to produce an additional 160,000 solar home systems (SHS) to meet ever-increasing demand from homes and businesses across the country where it already has a majority of the market share. Currently, over 160 million people in Nigeria have poor or no access to the electricity grid. Africa Business Community reports that hundreds of thousands of new Lumos solar home systems will enable close to a million people to switch to reliable, clean energy, contributing to economic growth and sustainable development in the country.

This is aligned with the Nigerian government’s plans announced in June to connect five million households to solar power. Alistair Gordon, Group CEO, Lumos, said: “This funding from DFC will enable people throughout Nigeria to seize the opportunities that come with access to reliable and affordable power. Access to energy is the foundation for a high quality of life, good healthcare, education and increased income. Our ultimate goal at Lumos is to provide power for everyone.” Worku Gachou, Managing Director for Africa, at DFC said: “Access to power is a fundamental need across Africa and is even more urgent as COVID-19 continues to impact communities across the continent. Supporting Lumos will empower one million people across Nigeria by delivering access to reliable and affordable energy.

Together, we can help unlock Africa’s enormous potential for growth.” Shmulik Kollender, Group COO & CFO Lumos, said: “We thank DFC for its continued support of our vision and approach. Our longstanding partnership with DFC had already allowed Lumos to command a market leading position in the largest off-grid market in sub-Saharan Africa. DFC financing is even more important these days. In light of the impact that COVID-19 has on our customers, there is a real need for impact-oriented investors that can share our vision to eliminate energypoverty in the country.”

The DFC financing announcement follows funding from Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO, announced in August, that will more than double Lumos’ customer base in Côte d’Ivoire, solidifying its position as the solar home system market leader in West Africa. Solar home systems offer a rapidly deployable power solution to a global market of over two billion people. Currently, there are 740 million people with poor or no access to the electricity grid in sub- Saharan Africa. By offering a unique power solution to the mass market, Lumos is revolutionising and decentralising power supply in the region, in the same way that mobile phones revolutionised communications.


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