South Africa’s Sun Exchange has raised $1.4 million for Zimbabwe solar project from a crowd sale that attracted more than 1,700 individuals buyers who will in exchange earn a rental income in cryptocurrency from the electricity generated.
Sun Exchange says the $1.4 million will help it build a 1.9 megawatt (MW) solar and battery storage facility at Zimbabwe’s Nhimbe Fresh farm, one of Zimbabwe’s biggest fruit and tobacco producers.
Sun Exchange will also power the company’s cold store and packhouse facilities, through solar power to avoid frequent power cuts in the region. Nhimbe reports that power cuts may last up to 18 hours in some regions in the country and power is expensive too. The solar scheme is expected to cut Nhimbe’s overall energy cost by up to 60%.
Zimbabwe’s Nhimbe Fresh exports blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, stone fruit, snap peas and snow peas to major international grocery retailers across the world. Through its outgrower scheme, Nhimbe Fresh works with 250 smallholder farmers who receive specialised training and gain vast access to export markets. Phase 1 of this multiphase project will power Nhimbe Fresh’s packhouse and cold store facilities.