Devergy Energy Services

Solar mini-grids in Tanzanian villages

Devergy Energy Services

Description of the enterprise

Devergy operates as a small utility company, building solar-powered mini-grids in unelectrified areas of Tanzania, providing affordable and reliable access to energy to low-income villagers.

In July 2015 the company was managing 6 mini-grids, serving over 800 customers. With funds raised from a pool of investors, Devergy will expand its activities and outreach: the company plans to install 330 new mini-grids, serving 150.000 customers by 2020.

The problem/ The opportunity

Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in East Africa, with roughly 70% of rural population living under the 1,25 USD/day Poverty Line. Tanzania is also the least electrified nation in East Africa with over 7,2 mil off-grid households: only 5% of the country’s 40 million rural residents have access to electricity.

The solution proposed by the enterprise

Devergy installs in the village systems called energy boxes (“Enbox”), connected each other via cables and connected to meters placed at household level. Each Enbox can power on average five households, is connected with a battery pack and mounted on a tripod. Enboxes also have a GSM antenna, which allows the mini-grid to be monitored and controlled in real time.

Every meter is associated with a unique user number, and allows the company to grant access to the power, as the supply of electricity is activated on a pre-paid basis, as it happens with mobile phone services.