Renewable Firm Targets $100mn for Solar-powered Telecoms Towers in Nigeria

 Renewable Firm Targets $100mn for Solar-powered Telecoms Towers in Nigeria

WATT Renewable, a private independent clean energy producer aims to raise as much as $100 million by the end of 2024 to expand its business of providing solar power, mainly to telecommunications towers in Nigeria.

According to the statement made by Sherisse Alexander, chief investment officer of WATT Renewable to Bloomberg, the company has installed 12 megawatts of generation capacity at about 160 sites and has a pipeline of projects 10 times that size.

She said the Canadian company would prefer a major investor to take a stake but will finance projects individually if need be.

“What we are looking at is a corporate raise. WATT is talking to companies that are already involved in the energy industry that have an understanding of renewable energy and specifically the African market,” she said.

WATT is one of a number of energy startups trying to provide power solutions in Africa, where about 600 million people, or half the population, have no access to electricity.

Businesses across the continent are offering services ranging from mini-grids to small hydro plants to reach areas that aren’t connected to national grids.

The company initially planned to set up mini-grids for rural communities, but soon saw the opportunity to provide reliable power systems for corporate customers.

“We made our foray into the telecommunications industry where we transition telecommunication providers and towers from diesel-generated power over to a solar hybrid solution,” the investment officer said.

In addition to telecommunications, WATT has also focused on financial institutions and some commercial and industrial companies.

WATT lists 401 projects on its website, some of which are up and running, but most are in development. Of those all but 14 are in Nigeria, with the company having 13 projects in Canada and one in Texas.

The need to raise money means that shareholders, including Oluwole Eweje the founder and chief executive officer, will reduce their stakes, the report said.

“Given the capital that we are looking to raise for our extensive pipeline of business, their shareholding will be diluted,” Alexander said. “It is in the best interest of future project development and deployment.”

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