The European Union approved a $3.4 million working capital facility under the ElectriFI country window for Nigeria for Okra Solar to use solar mesh networks to target 76,000 energy access beneficiaries by the end of 2025.

Okra Solar will provide access to electricity via mesh network technology to mini-grid developers. Launched in 2016, Okra Solar developed mesh network technology specifically to electrify underserved or underserved communities.

His proprietary Okra Pod is a device that allows solar systems installed in each home to communicate and share power over a low-voltage transmission cable (creating the mesh network). The capsules are sold with photovoltaic panels, battery and inverters.

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The company started to focus on the highly strategic Nigerian market and wants to implement multiple pilot projects to power more than 30,000 homes in the country over the next two to three years.

“Even with off-grid solutions, such as mesh networks, which are 10 times cheaper than grid extension for hard-to-reach communities, 80 million people continue to live off-grid in Nigeria. Okra is incredibly excited to work with EDFI ElectriFI to implement innovative financial tools that will enable local developers to deploy mesh networks at scale and continue to quickly bring power to people,” said Afnan Hannan, co-founder and CEO of Okra Solar.

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EDFI ElectriFI’s investment consists of a revolving working capital facility, designed to close the financing gap in the supply chain and help Okra tap into the high demand for its technology, further penetrate the Nigerian market, and ultimately, accelerate sustainable electrification.

Maud Watelet, ElectriFI’s senior investment office at EDFI MC called Okra Solar’s technology “transformational.”

“We are proud to contribute to facilitating and accelerating the development of micro and mini grids for rural electrification in Nigeria. Given the various awards Okra has received, we are confident that Okra’s highly-skilled team will thrive within this complex industry,” said Watelet.

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The ElectriFI Country Window for Nigeria is developed in partnership with EU Delegations and host governments. “The European Union’s support for Okra through ElectriFI Nigeria’s country window helps the country’s efforts to accelerate energy access for people in marginalized and underserved communities.

“As such, it is at the heart of our partnership with Nigeria, which, among others, aims to improve reliable access to energy to harness the environmental, social and economic potential of renewable energy,” explained Inga Stefanowicz, Director of Green and Digital Economy of the Delegation of the European Union in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and ECOWAS.