Sun Exchange, an energy start-up in South Africa, raised US$1.4M in a crowd selling of solar cells for a 1.9 megawatt (MW) solar and battery storage facility at Zimbabwe’s Nhimbe Fresh farm.
Individual solar cells in the project were eligible for purchase by investors. In return, they will receive a cryptocurrency rental income from the electricity produced.
The crowd sale drew more than 1,700 customers, according to Sun Exchange.
Nhimbe Fresh is a major fruit and tobacco producer in Zimbabwe. The solar project is part of the company’s strategy to use solar energy to fuel its entire operation.
Zimbabwe’s recurrent power outages, which can last up to 18 hours in some places, have prompted companies to search for cheaper and more stable energy sources.
According to Nhimbe, the scheme could reduce the company’s total energy costs by up to 60%.
The solar farm’s investors will receive a monthly income stream for the next 20 years, with a projected internal rate of return (IRR) of 16.71 percent in South African rand, according to Sun Exchange.
In a quote, Sun Exchange said, “This is the highest earning potential of any solar project run through the Sun Exchange network to date.” “Solar cells will be leased to Nhimbe Fresh at a USD-pegged fixed price to mitigate the chance of local currency fluctuations.”