Sun Exchange, South Africa’s blockchain solar energy marketplace has started its pan-African expansion with a new project in Zimbabwe just fresh from raising its $4 million Series A funding round in June.
Sun Exchange’s first project out of South Africa is a multiphase project that will power Nhimbe Fresh, an agriculture leader in Marondera, Zimbabwe.
Abraham Cambridge, CEO and founder of Sun Exchange, said, “Today, we’re excited to mark our official expansion into sub-Saharan Africa with the first of three crowdsales for a multiphase, 1.9 megawatt (MW) solar-plus-storage project for Nhimbe Fresh, a premier exporter of fresh produce located in Marondera, Zimbabwe. This will be the largest Sun Exchange solar installation to date and the first outside South Africa.”
The Zimbabwe project is a solar and battery project that will power Nhimbe Fresh packhouse and cold store facilities (phase 1), pump sites (phase 2), and Churchill Farm (phase 3). Unlike the use of generators, this will lower Nhimbe Fresh facilities’ energy costs by more than 60 percent per year and carbon emissions by more than one million kilograms per year, the firm estimated.
This is Sun Exchange’s first project with energy storage capacity: The three project sites will be integrated with 3.9 MWh of battery capacity, enabling Nhimbe Fresh to continuously operate on solar energy alone. It is also the firm’s first USD-pegged, fixed lease price project to mitigate risk of currency fluctuations.
Nhimbe Fresh exports blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, stone fruit, snap peas and snow peas to major international grocery retailers in the UK, EU, UAE and South Africa through expoters such as United Exports, Czon and Global Fresh.
Nhimbe Fresh runs an outgrower scheme, working with 250 smallholder farmers who receive specialised training and support and gain vast access to export markets. The company also provides clinic and childcare facilities for employees, sports funding and participates in a programme to empower youth in agriculture.
Edwin Masimba Moyo, chairman and sole shareholder of Nhimbe Fresh, said, “At Nhimbe Fresh, we recognise and embrace our interdependence on our surrounding communities and the environment. Our vision is to pursue a purpose greater than ourselves and to pioneer new, profitable ways of doing business through sustainability and environmental responsibility. Going solar through Sun Exchange is a significant step towards that vision, minimising our energy costs and climate impact, while strengthening our resilience and business continuity by enabling us to continue operations during power outages.”
The Nhimbe Fresh solar-plus-storage project is exactly the type of high-impact opportunity we aim to bring to you, our global Sun Exchange community, by partnering with organisations that pursue purpose beyond only profits.
Buy solar cells in this project.