ImpactAlpha, May 21 – Online connectivity is now essential to economic inclusion. But in markets where grid energy isn’t reliable, online access is dependent on cell towers that are mostly diesel-powered.
Guatemala-based Hybrico provides solar-plus-battery systems to Latin America’s cell tower operators wanting to switch to lower-cost and lower-emission power sources. The company’s software helps operators manage energy usage at each tower.
Acumen Latam Impact Ventures, or ALIVE, invested $2 million in Hybrico to enable “greater access to reliable connectivity to underserved communities in the region, while also reducing carbon emissions.”
Hybrico encourages telecom operators to expand access for underserved and hard to reach communities. It says its systems offer the lowest lifetime costs for power compared to other energy sources. Nearly 70% of its systems are used in off-grid areas.
The use of green energy to power mobile connectivity and data demands is on the rise. Women-led Caban Systems in California, which offers a similar combination power system + software, raised $51 million in January. Last week, Microsoft partnered with Nigerian solar-powered wifi-tower developer Tizeti to expand affordable Internet access in Cote d’Ivoire. Climate Adaptive Infrastructure is investing $300 million in greening digital infrastructure, like data centers, in partnership with investment firm DigitalBridge.