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Sun Exchange’s US$1.4 mil crowdfunded solar project in Marondera goes live!

Sun Exchange Nhimbe Fresh

Sun Exchange, the global solar leasing platform that enables anyone, anywhere to own and earn income from solar assets in emerging markets, today announced the 510 kWp + 1MWh solar-plus-storage installation to power Zimbabwean agriculture leader, Nhimbe Fresh, has started generating electricity. Sun Exchange previously completed the crowdsale for the project, with approximately $1.4 million of solar cells bought by over 1,905 individuals across 98 countries, making it the biggest crowdsourced project of any kind in Africa.

“We’re thrilled that so many sustainability-minded people from around the world are now earning income from the solar cells that power our packhouse. This sets an important precedent for what technology can make possible for solar power in Africa when organisations and individuals put their money to work doing good.”

Dr. Edwin Masimba Moyo, Chairman and sole shareholder, Nhimbe Fresh

This is the first of a multiphase solar-plus-storage project that will provide the fresh produce grower and exporter with lower-cost and reliable electricity and nearly eliminate its reliance on the grid. The Sun Exchange model enables Nhimbe Fresh to cut energy-related costs by roughly 60 per cent, and with solar power replacing coal and diesel generation/backup, its emissions will be reduced by more than 1,000 tonnes per year. 

“With African countries under pressure to decarbonise while simultaneously growing their economies, we need innovation that enables clean energy for businesses without placing a burden on national budgets or hindering development. With our technology and community-driven approach to solar, businesses like Nhimbe Fresh can access affordable, reliable solar power, protect their operations from power outages, reduce energy costs and lead efforts to create a sustainable future.”

Abraham Cambridge, CEO & Founder, Sun Exchange

The landmark project will power the Nhimbe Fresh packhouse and cold storage facilities. It marks Sun Exchange’s 44th completed solar installation, is the largest Sun Exchange solar project to date, the first outside of South Africa and the first to feature battery storage.

Energea Global, a U.S. renewable energy developer and portfolio manager, which manages over $100 million in funds, also purchased thousands of solar cells in the Nhimbe Fresh solar project.

“With the impacts of climate change becoming alarmingly real across the world, we must support and scale solutions that address the finance gap for smaller solar projects in emerging markets. We share Sun Exchange’s passion for this work, and are proud and excited to have made this project part of the offering to our investors, joining Nhimbe Fresh on their solar journey.” 

Mike Silvestrini, Partner and Co-Founder, Energea

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Last year we had a conversation with Edwin Moyo and Abe Cambridge during the solar crowdsale (which became Africa’s largest) about how the project came about and how it will tackle Nhimbe Fresh’s power supply issues.


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