The 80 solar microgrids will benefit an estimated 60,000 people and connect nearly 10,000 new customers. It will allow Husk to double its customer base of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which drive rural economic activity but still rely heavily on polluting and expensive diesel generation. The new microgrids will displace a significant amount of diesel generators, avoiding the equivalent of 11,640 tons of CO2.
Besides providing electricity to the communities, Husk’s platform strategy to address the entire rural energy ecosystem offers access to productive and lifestyle appliances, allowing customers to purchase affordable, modern and efficient appliances for both business and home use.
The long-term $6 million debt financing is one of the largest investments in the microgrid industry by EDFI ElectriFI, and is a clear indication that investing in leading developers like Husk allows de-risking financing facilities to scale the market at speed. This investment complements Husk’s largest-ever local currency debt financing in the microgrid industry from the India Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), announced earlier this year.
Prior to the EDFI ElectriFI debt, Husk Power already had about 150 net-zero microgrids in operation in India. Husk is also present in Nigeria, with plans to further expand in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Manoj Sinha, co-founder and CEO, Husk Power: “The EDFI ElectriFI debt will enable Husk to become EBITDA positive before the end of 2022, and demonstrates our increased ability to absorb larger amounts of long-term, low-cost debt, which is necessary to scale microgrids profitably. More importantly, we will be achieving a net zero, broad-based economic impact on businesses and households in rural India, and help MSMEs double their income through reduced energy costs.”
Corentin Billiet, ElectriFI Senior Investment Officer, EDFI Management Company: “Minigrids are at the heart of EDFI ElectriFI’s strategy. We have been following Husk’s progress in the last years with attention and are very pleased to add this leading developer to our portfolio. The new facility will enable the company to reach the next stage of growth, achieve profitability and create long-term impact in rural India.”
The writer of this article is Dr. Seema Javed, a known Environmentalist, Journalist and Communications Expert