A young farmer in Nganwa Village, Bugesera District has become the 1,000th customer of electricity provider MeshPower Rwanda, powering LED lights and a mobile phone charger in her home for the first time. “We were tired of living in the dark,” Jeanette Uwamahoro explained, “and MeshPower is cheaper than the batteries we were using.”
A MeshPower solar-powered nanogrid can provide electricity to up to 100 different homes and small businesses in a rural village at a time. Each village shares the power generated on solar panels, but every customer has their own individual account and can use the power for different equipment. Jeanette currently has 2 LED lights and a phone charger, though is considering also getting a radio and TV in the future.
MeshPower has been expanding its services rapidly since it started in 2014 and now offers affordable, reliable and clean energy to over 45 different villages in the Bugesera district, south of Kigali. Joshua King, MeshPower Country Manager, commented:
“Reaching 1,000 customers in Rwanda is an important milestone for MeshPower, but is just the beginning of an even more successful journey. We can deliver inexpensive, green, 24 hour electricity to off-grid customers all over the country opening up economic and social opportunities that have been previously unavailable to them.”
MeshPower was founded by a team of electrical engineers from Imperial College, London and an early stage Google ex-employee, passionate about using technology for good. MeshPower’s system provides affordable, renewable, 24 hour electricity through its solar-powered nanogrids to village-sized communities without access to the national grid in the developing world. It designs, manufactures and operates nanogrid systems which provide cabling and smart load management to distribute low voltage 48V DC electricity (powering lights, phone chargers and TVs) to up to 100 families per village. Every customer has their own account, which is managed and paid for via GSM connection. Revenue comes from a fee-for-service subscription model, so customers pay only for the electricity they use, rather than purchasing assets and long-term contracts.
MeshPower’s expansion in Rwanda was part-funded by EEP, the Energy and Environment Partnership.
MeshPower Rwanda (estd. 2014) is a private limited company, registered with the Rwandan Development Board and is a subsidiary of MeshPower Ltd., UK.
Head office: KN 8 Avenue, Kaciyiru, Kigali, Rwanda.