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Solar power company Daystar raises $38 mln for West Africa expansion

·1 min read

LAGOS, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Solar energy solutions company Daystar Power has raised $38 million, mostly from development finance institutions, to expand operations across West Africa, it said on Tuesday.

Grid power across Africa does not meet nations' needs and a variety of solar companies are seeking to fill the gap. In Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation and largest economy, individual fuel-powered generators not connected to the grid provide at least four times as much electricity as the grid.

The latest round of Series B funding, led by Denmark's Investment Fund for Developing Countries, brings Daystar's equity investments to $48 million.

"We have seen a more than fiftyfold increase in power-as-a-service revenue over the last two years," Daystar Chief Executive and co-founder Jasper Graf von Hardenberg said in the statement.

Daystar provides solar power and hybrid power solutions for a monthly fee to businesses ranging from Nigerian banks to a Ghanaian steel company. It has an active client base in Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Senegal, with a representative office in Ivory Coast.

It currently has 23 megawatts of installed power capacity but said it is on track to expand to more than 100 megawatts within the next year and a half. One megawatt is equivalent to the energy produced by 10 automobile engines.

French infrastructure investment vehicle STOA, French development finance institution Proparco - backed by a guarantee from the European Union under the African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility - and Morgan Stanley Investment Management also participated in the funding round.

(Reporting By Libby George Editing by David Goodman)