Blockchain Startup Sun Exchange Partners With Powerhive To Accelerate Energy Access In Africa

News | July 19, 2018 By:

Blockchain energy startup Sun Exchange has teamed with rural mini-grid solutions provider Powerhive to launch a new initiative aimed at providing greater energy access to rural communities throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.

Sun Exchange is a marketplace that allows its members to lease their solar cells purchased through exchange to hospitals, factories, schools and other end-users, providing them a unique opportunity to earn income while helping to bring solar power to developing global regions. Sun Exchange hosts what they call a ‘crowd-sale’ of solar cells. It works a bit like crowd-funding in that the project will only go ahead once all the solar cells have been sold.

Powerhive enables financing and monetization of distributed microgrids by reducing costs and stabilizing investment risk. The company’s cloud-based software application and proprietary smart meter automate account management tasks, remotely monitor and control microgrid operations and run real-time data analytics. The solution allows customers to prepay for electricity through mobile money networks and gain access to an affordable electricity supply.

The partnership, which leverages the crypto-economy, aims to accelerate global progress towards global energy access. Under the partnership, Powerhive will be the exclusive recipient of proceeds designated for solar project pre-financing from sales of Sun Exchange’s SUNEX digital rewards token, a cryptocurrency designed to catalyse solar development. The funds will be used to create solar-powered rural electrification mini-grid projects, which include revenue and livelihood enhancing programs throughout sub-saharan Africa. The initiative is expected to fund approximately 150 projects that will provide power to 175,000 people currently lacking power.

The solar panels that will be used in these project will be offered for sale to Sun Exchange members, enabling them to own cells within the projects and earn decades of “solar-powered money” from the electricity the projects produce. Sun Exchange is expecting the initiative to catalyze $23 million of capital, which will help Powerhive to accelerate its solar powered mini-grid roll out.

“Our partnership with Powerhive underscores the SUNEX token sale opportunity to support a crypto project geared directly towards reducing global inequality and climate impact,” said Abraham Cambridge, Founder and CEO of Sun Exchange. “Together, we are working towards a world where no one is forced to cook with unsafe kerosene or wood-burning stoves, no child has to worry about how they will study after dark, and lack of energy access ceases to propel cycles of poverty.”

“Over the past seven years Powerhive has built a vertically integrated platform that allows us to identify, construct and operate the highest quality and lowest cost solar-powered mini-grids in Africa,” said Powerhive Founder and CEO Christopher Hornor. “At the heart of our projects are the communities we serve. By providing the power platform first and then layering in productive use programs, we create a virtuous cycle of economic and personal empowerment that provides steady profits for both our customers and our investors. Our partnership with Sun Exchange will now give almost anyone the opportunity to invest in innovative low-carbon development projects in Africa and beyond.”