OPES Solutions, the market leader in off-grid solar module manufacturing, announces today successful completion of its financing round with two leading impact investment companies, Kawisafi Ventures in Kenya and Quadia, based in Switzerland. The financing by Quadia is provided by an investment fund managed by the Swiss company in partnership with the Belgian bank Degroof Petercam.
Growth in Access and Smart City markets
With operations in China, Germany and Hong Kong, OPES Solutions is strengthening its position as a global leading supplier for the fast growing off-grid Energy Access and Smart City markets. In the Energy Access market alone, driven mainly by pay-as-you go Solar Home Systems, OPES Solutions has already supplied more than 4 million customized off-grid solar modules over the last years.
OPES Solutions will use the capital to significantly expand its production and R&D activities. “With our factory in Changzhou, China, we are at the forefront of building a new industry together with our customers” says Robert Händel, CEO & Founder of OPES Solutions. “Our product development and manufacturing concept is tailored to the needs of our customers working with Off-Grid electrification in developing countries and new applications promoting mobility and sustainability in Smart Cities”.
The research activities of OPES Solutions include new solar module design & materials, direct integration of solar modules into innovative applications and development of innovative mass-manufacturing processes & equipment for small modules.
Investors with focus on two key global challenges
The investment focus of the new shareholders is perfectly matched to what the Founders of OPES Solutions aim to achieve, supporting the solar electrification of more than 1 billion people who are currently without energy access, as well as responding to the trend of fast growing cities all over the globe that require innovative technological solutions to be environmentally sustainable.
“Currently, $17 billion a year is spent on dirty energy in sub-Saharan Africa alone. Our investments target this huge market to improve access to clean energy through economically successful solutions. As the market leader for Off-grid solar modules, OPES Solutions is a perfect fit,” says Amar Inamdar, Managing Director at KawiSafi.
“Quadia invests in sustainable companies that drive the regenerative economy. For us, not only technical and economic factors are decisive, but also positive social and environmental impacts. The investment in OPES Solutions takes all these requirements into account as solar energy is a key element to enable mobile and sustainable solutions in today’s dynamically developing cities,” adds Daniel von Moltke, Managing Partner at Quadia.
Being part of building the Off-Grid Industry
Specially developed innovative production processes are key to the success of OPES Solutions. This technological edge enables the company to achieve fast product development & ramp-up cycles, high volume and consistent quality – despite a variety of small off-grid module designs – for which no standardized production equipment is available on the market. For example, the patented integrated Flying Fibre Laser from OPES Solutions increases the throughput of cutting solar cells by 8-fold, and with better quality and yield than comparable machines.
Tom Tang, CTO & Co-Founder of OPES Solutions: “Though we have come far without a financial partner in the past, KawiSafi and Quadia bring not only network & knowledge for our two key markets, but also financial power to give our key R&D &and expansion projects an important boost. We are all very excited to bring our company to the next level.”