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Mitsui backs OMC Power’s minigrid expansion to Africa

OMC Power develops solar minigrids for telecom towers and rural villages in India.

With a ¥1 billion ($9.3 million) equity investment from Japanese conglomerate Mitsui, the company will expand to Africa and other parts of Asia. Minigrid ventures have been gaining support from big corporate players, including Engie,Caterpillar and Total.

“Mitsui’s investment is an endorsement of the sector,” which is making the transition to large-scale commercialization, said OMC’s Anil Raj.

The company is targeting five or six East African countries, where 600,000 people lack access to the grid.

Because the region is less densely populated than India, OMC will focus on powering telecom towers, extending electricity to nearby businesses and homes.

Last year, OMC raised $4.5 million from the Rockefeller Foundation to finance 100 minigrids in rural India.

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