Starsight Energy and SolarAfrica combine forces to become one of the continent’s leading solar players.
Renewable energy services provider Starsight Energy and South African-based solar firm SolarAfrica Energy have combined strengths to become one of the continent’s leading solar players, with a genuine pan-African footprint to provide competitive, full-service renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions to the Commercial & Industrial (C&I) sector.
An opportune time
Subject to standard regulatory approvals including anti-trust approvals, the merger comes at an opportune time following favorable changes in South African renewable energy space. Newly revised regulations permit wheeling and self-generation of up to 100 MW by private generators.
The Starsight Energy and SolarAfrica merger will create the first truly pan-African renewable energy services provider, amidst a global drive towards greener and cleaner energy sources. The merged entity has a portfolio of over 220 MW of operated and contracted generation capacity and 40 MWh of operational battery storage, with an additional generation pipeline exceeding 1GW.
Starsight Energy was established in 2015 and is backed by Helios and African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), a member of Old Mutual Alternative Investments. It offers reliable and sustainable on- and off-grid energy and cooling solutions to the C&I sector, with operations in East and West Africa and over 656 sites in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana.
The company was named one of Africa’s fastest growing companies in 2022 by the UK Financial Times. It is also the first renewable energy company in Nigeria to secure carbon credit accreditation, certified by the Verra Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) program, the world’s most widely used voluntary Green House Gas (GHG) certification program.
Established in 2011, SolarAfrica has extensive experience in delivering state-of-the-art energy solutions through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to businesses across Southern Africa. It has evolved from a specialist provider of rooftop solar photovoltaic systems to a full-service provider of capex-free, green energy solutions ranging from solar and battery storage options to wheeling and electricity trading to the C&I market.
SolarAfrica has already positioned itself as a competitive player in the newly enabled power wheeling space, having recently signed up major Blue Chip customers. The group is now well positioned to service large power users with a lower cost electricity alternative from a recently developed centralized solar generation site. Last year SolarAfrica was named the continent’s leading solar energy firm, scooping the Africa Solar Industry Association’s African Solar Company of the Year award.
The demand for reliable and cost-effective power
Over and above the global shift towards the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through decarbonization, the demand for cost-effective and reliable power by commercial and industrial users will continue to grow and open further opportunities in the renewable energy sector, particularly in South Africa, where power supply is expected to remain constrained due to a substantial deficit of generation capacity, said Tony Carr, Group CEO of Starsight Energy.
“The merger will enable efficiencies across the group, ranging from procurement to funding, and further allow for the rollout of our proprietary technology platform across the continent. These efficiencies will assist the group to provide a unique and valuable offering that takes customers on a green energy journey to solve their power struggles, enabling a sustainable future for their businesses,” said David McDonald, Co-Founder and CEO of SolarAfrica Energy.
The merger comes at a time when South Africa is facing challenges in transitioning to green power.