26 November 2013, Nairobi — Three Kenyan companies are among the winners of the inaugural Africa GE-USADF Off-Grid Energy Challenge. Announced at a grand gala event held in Lagos, Nigeria, the Kenyan firms include Solar World Limited, Afrisol Energy Limited and Mibawa Suppliers.
Solar World submitted a proposal to construct five solar-powered water points in Samburu County in Northern Kenya while Afrisol Energy Limited’s entry was a proposal for the construction of a bio-digester to produce electricity and biogas in the slums of Nairobi.
On the other hand Mibawa Suppliers’ proposal was to distribute IndiGo lights using an innovative ‘rent to own’ model, to replace kerosene lamps for low-income households in rural areas.
The local firms were among other three Nigerian companies which also emerged winners where each will receive grants of up to $ 100,000 (Sh8.6 million) to support their initiatives.
The Nigerian Companies include Trans Africa Gas and Electric, GVE Projects Limited and Afe Babalola University.
GVE Projects designed an 18 KW solar-powered mini-grid reaching about 140 homes in the Egbeke community of Rivers state.
Trans Africa Gas and Electric entry was a standalone cold storage facility to allow farmers to cool and store their produce before bringing it to market.
The third winner, Afe Babalola University, plans to generate 2.5 megawatts of electricity through a renewable hydro-electric power system that will serve over 10,000 members of the university community and beyond.
GE USADF Off-grid Energy Challenge was launched in Kenyan and Nigeria this year, with plans to expand to other African countries over the next 3 years.
General Electric (GE) teamed up with the U.S. Africa Development Foundation (USADF) to launch this competition in order to address the needs of marginalised African communities not reached by the national grid.
“We are excited about the high caliber of entrants and the innovativeness in the solutions being presented to the Off-Grid Energy Challenges in the respective countries,” President and CEO of GE Africa Jay Ireland said.
Over the next three years, more than 20 individuals and indigenous African companies who come up with innovative solutions to address the energy challenges of African communities and businesses stand a chance of each winning up to Sh8.6 million in grants to support their initiatives.
– Capital FM