Sun Exchange is a South African peer-to-peer solar startup that was founded in 2015. Through Sun Exchange anyone in the world can own solar equipment and earn money by leasing it out to businesses and organisations in emerging markets. Sun Exchange will manage the installation and maintenance through its selected installation partners. The company leverages the power of the crowd and financial innovation to move sustainable energy forward.
The startup has built a community of over 19 000 members across 168 countries and has brought solar energy to 35 South African businesses, schools and organisations. The company recently closed a US$4 million Series A investment and are looking to expand further into Africa. In a report by Disrupt Africa, Sun Exchange CEO Abraham Cambridge said that they would be looking to target neighbouring countries first.
The renewable energy startup’s first stop is Zimbabwe with a proposed 1.9 megawatt installation for Nhimbe Fresh, a local company that exports berries and fruits.
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The project will be held in three stages:
- Nhimbe Fresh packhouse and cold storage (Phase 1)
- Pump sites (Phase 2)
- Churchill Farm (Phase 3)
The solar plant will reduce Nhimbe Fresh’s costs by 60% because they will no longer have to be so heavily reliant on diesel generators.
“Going solar through Sun Exchange is a significant step towards that vision, minimising our energy costs and climate impact while strengthening our resilience and business continuity by enabling us to continue operations during power outages,”Edwin Masimba Moyo, chairman and sole shareholder at Nhimbe Fresh.
Abraham Cambridge (Sun Exchange CEO) said highlighted the importance of reliable (and renewable) energy supply for the agricultural sector because farming contributes a significant portion to Sub Saharan Africa’s GDP.