OGE and EDF Announce Partnership for Off-​​Grid Solar in West Africa

November 15, 2016

Off Grid Elec­tric and EDF join hands in offer­ing a new off-​​grid solar power solu­tion for rural areas in West Africa

  • First large-​​scale oper­a­tional part­ner­ship between a global energy com­pany and a lead­ing off-​​grid solar company.
  • Off Grid Electric’s expe­ri­ence in Tan­za­nia and EDF’s expe­ri­ence in South Africa shows that house­holds using these ser­vices have reduced emis­sions from kerosene and brown coal by 1.45 kg per year.

Wednes­day 9th Novem­ber 2016:

Off Grid Elec­tric, a lead­ing dis­trib­uted solar com­pany in Africa, and EDF, a global leader in low-​​carbon ener­gies, today announced a part­ner­ship to sup­ply com­pet­i­tive off-​​grid solar energy in Africa. This part­ner­ship will take the ini­tial form of a joint ven­ture – ZECI – in Ivory Coast, announced on the occa­sion of the 22nd Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties (COP) held by the United Nations in Mar­rakech, Morocco. This first joint ven­ture aims to sup­ply power to nearly 2 mil­lion peo­ple in Ivory Coast by year 2020, with plans to rapidly extend the partnership’s ini­tia­tives to other coun­tries in the region.

Within the scope of this joint ven­ture, ZECI, EDF and Off Grid Elec­tric will install and main­tain solar kits for rural and peri-​​urban households1. These indi­vid­ual kits include solar pan­els, which are easy to install, along with bat­ter­ies for stor­ing energy. Pay­ment can be made through the sim­ple use of a mobile phone. Cus­tomers will there­fore have access to light­ing and will be able to power a suite of energy-​​efficient house­hold appli­ances includ­ing tele­vi­sion sets, radios, fans and mobile phone chargers.

Rolling out this ini­tia­tive in West Africa will cre­ate thou­sands of new sus­tain­able jobs (over 1000 jobs in Ivory Coast alone), from sales man­agers to call-​​centre employ­ees, who will ben­e­fit from Off Grid Elec­tric and EDF in-​​house train­ing. Giv­ing cus­tomers the option to use a renew­able energy source like solar energy also ben­e­fits the envi­ron­ment by replac­ing can­dles, paraf­fin, and kerosene.

We’re thrilled to part­ner with EDF, an indus­try leader whose pres­ence in Africa, com­bined with its expe­ri­ence, will enable us to grow Off Grid Electric’s foot­print across the con­ti­nent,” said Bill Leni­han, Pres­i­dent and CFO, Off Grid Elec­tric. “Access to reli­able energy is a chal­lenge through­out Africa and our part­ner­ship with EDF will help us to meet this chal­lenge. Through energy inde­pen­dence, we hope to see house­holds and com­mu­ni­ties seize new opportunities.”

Off Grid Elec­tric is the per­fect part­ner for EDF, with its excel­lent knowl­edge of the African con­ti­nent and a proven track record of pro­vid­ing inno­v­a­tive and com­pet­i­tive solar solu­tions,” said Simone Rossi, EDF Group Senior Exec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent, Inter­na­tional Division.

He also stressed that “EDF is delighted to part­ner with Off Grid Elec­tric, thus enabling the lat­ter to ben­e­fit from the Group’s exten­sive exper­tise in the area of cus­tomer rela­tions. This will be an oppor­tu­nity for us to share the expe­ri­ence we have gath­ered from sup­ply­ing energy to more than 30 mil­lion cus­tomers world­wide, to the advan­tage of new cus­tomers in West Africa.”

Off Grid Elec­tric will be receiv­ing the UNFCCC’s Momen­tum for Change 2016 Award at COP22. The Momen­tum for Change ini­tia­tive is spear­headed by the UN Cli­mate Change sec­re­tariat to shine a light on some of the most inno­v­a­tive, scal­able and replic­a­ble exam­ples of what peo­ple are doing to address cli­mate change.


1 Accord­ing to the World Bank, 62% of Africans in the sub-​​Saharan region live in rural areas with hardly any access to elec­tri­cal grids
Off Grid Elec­tric
Karen Navarre, karen@​thenumber2​9​.​com, 860–857-9533

Press office: +33 1 40 42 46 37
Ana­lysts and Investors: + 33 1 40 42 40 38

About Off Grid Elec­tric
Off Grid Elec­tric (OGE) pro­vides clean, afford­able and trans­for­ma­tive energy directly to more than 100,000 house­holds and busi­nesses in Tan­za­nia and Rwanda that have never had access to reli­able elec­tric­ity. Through its solar leas­ing model, OGE removes finan­cial risk to cus­tomers and offers the lat­est in tech­nol­ogy for less than or equal to a household’s aver­age energy spend. OGE is the lead­ing scal­able dis­trib­uted energy com­pany and oper­ates under the con­sumer brand, Zola, in Tan­za­nia and Rwanda. OGE’s investors include: SolarCity, Vul­can Cap­i­tal, DBL Part­ners, The Packard Foun­da­tion, Helios Invest­ment Part­ners, and reson­s­Abil­ity. For more infor­ma­tion, visit off​grid​-elec​tric​.com.

About EDF
A key player in energy tran­si­tion, the EDF Group is an inte­grated elec­tric­ity com­pany, active in all areas of the busi­ness: gen­er­a­tion, trans­mis­sion, dis­tri­b­u­tion, energy sup­ply and trad­ing, energy ser­vices. A global leader in low-​​carbon ener­gies, the Group has devel­oped a diver­si­fied gen­er­a­tion mix based on nuclear power, hydropower, new renew­able ener­gies and ther­mal energy. The Group is involved in sup­ply­ing energy and ser­vices to approx­i­mately 37.6 mil­lion cus­tomers, includ­ing 27.8 mil­lion in France. The Group gen­er­ated con­sol­i­dated sales of €75 bil­lion in 2015 with 47.2% of this fig­ure being gen­er­ated out­side of France. EDF is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.
EDF has 15 years of expe­ri­ence in the off-​​grid sec­tor and in the run­ning of elec­tric­ity com­pa­nies in five dif­fer­ent African coun­tries – from Morocco to South Africa – with a 100,000-customer portfolio.