France’s EDF energy group has acquired a 50% stake in venture-backed utility BBOXX, as the companies entered an agreement to develop and market solutions for off-grid electricity in Togo, West Africa.
BBOXX is a London-based company that designs, manufactures and distributes “innovative plug & play solar systems to improve access to energy across Africa and the developing world”. They have deployed more than 150,000 systems to date.
The company reportedly uses lead-acid batteries and is also researching the use of lithium-ion systems.
In 2016 BEST Battery Briefing reported that BBOXX raised US$20m to increase its share in the African micro-grid market.
The move will assist the Togo Government’s electrification programme— known as Project CIZO— which aims to supply more than 500,000 people with solar home systems by 2035.
Meanwhile, EDF has its own targets to hit and deadlines to meet: its Electricity Storage Plan aims to develop storage capacity of 10 gigawatts worldwide by 2035.
EDF will provide technical experience to improve battery performance, as well as the necessary investment to speed up the deployment of BBOXX’s solar home systems.
Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and co-founder of BBOXX, said: “Our latest deal with EDF symbolises the first stepping stone in a strong strategic partnership. It will see us work together to bring smart and sustainable energy solutions and other vital utilities and value-added services to the underserved.”