PFAN Regional Coordinator
GVE was born in 2009 when Ifeanyi Orajaka, an engineering intern at the time, sought a reliable, sustainable and affordable solution to tackle abject energy poverty in rural Nigerian communities. Together with his co-founders, he found an answer in solar mini-grid systems.
“We pioneered the mini-grid in Nigeria at a time when there was no regulation for the sector, nor much of a market.” GVE’s pilot project gained support in 2012, when it installed the first mini-grid system, producing 6kW.
A key project in the company’s growth was the construction of a mini- grid in Bisanti, a village that has existed since the 17th century. Moving from unreliable petrol-powered generators to clean solar energy has had positive social and economic impacts on the community, empowering women and youth to set up businesses. “It’s improved their standard of living as they now have access to healthcare and more opportunities for education. It’s had a completely transformative effect on the community,” says Orajaka.
The company grew rapidly, and now produces 500kW in total, serving more than 5,200 clients. Orajaka believes support from PFAN has been key to the expansion of the company. “It’s provided validation for our business model and business plan. PFAN helped us market the platform internationally. We’ve increased our confidence and that of subsequent investors.” GVE’s model is scalable and can efficiently meet the energy needs of even remote communities at a cost that suits their income levels. While GVE considers itself the most innovative energy solution provider in West Africa, the managing director remains motivated by the impact and response their product has had on the ground.
“The highlight for me has been seeing the transformative effect of the product. We’ve seen people gain access to electricity for the first time in their lives. Their happiness has inspired us to do more.” “PFAN helped us bridge the gap between delivering to institutions that are shareholders and delivering impact,” says Orajaka. Currently, in its second phase of expansion, GVE plans to create more than 1,000 jobs and improve the living standards of over 10 million people while creating US$ 120 million in wealth by 2022. With 55% of the continent’s most populous country still without reliable electricity, Nigeria certainly offers great market potential.
[PFAN] provided validation for our business model and business plan. PFAN helped us market the platform internationally. We’ve increased our confidence and that of subsequent investors.
PFAN Success Story - Green Village Electricity, Nigeria