Combined SolarAfrica, Starsight to grow Africa’s renewables

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 03 Aug 2023
SolarAfrica and Starsight Energy have merged.
SolarAfrica and Starsight Energy have merged.

SolarAfrica Energy and Starsight Energy have completed their business merger, the companies announced in a statement.

The merged group will provide serviced solutions, including solar energy, battery storage, wheeling and energy management, on a large scale, to customers across Africa.

Paul van Zijl, former Starsight Energy group CFO, will assume the role of group CEO. Charl Alheit is now group chief investment officer, a role he held at SolarAfrica, while Max Rieg is the group’s commercial director.

The group says it will retain its regional management structures, with David McDonald (Southern Africa), Emmanuel Ayifa Baah (Ghana), Ladi Sanni (Nigeria) and Rupesh Hindocha (East Africa) leading their respective regions.

The merger, backed by Helios Investment Partners and African Infrastructure Investment Managers, allows the group to take more customers on a green energy journey and solve their power requirements, according to the statement.

“The supply of renewable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa is relatively fragmented, with several suppliers in the market, says Van Zijl. “This merger is a substantial step for us and will provide a true Pan-African platform to deliver clean renewable energy in key economies.”

The merged group consists of an installed and contracted portfolio of 520MW in solar power generation, 60MWh of battery storage and an additional energy pipeline exceeding 2GW.

“This merger will enhance our current capabilities and allow us to deploy energy and cooling-as-a-service on a much larger scale. This is therefore a story of growth. Not only for Starsight Energy and SolarAfrica, but also for the renewable energy landscape in Africa,” adds Van Zijl.

With a staff complement of 275 and operations in key markets, such as Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria and South Africa, the group reveals it is working on “imminent expansion” into Tanzania and Uganda.

“We are excited about making a meaningful contribution to power supply on the continent through our on- and off-site solutions. This will help take pressure off national grids, which have been under significant strain in many of the core African markets,” states Alheit.

The merged group will retain its presence in the countries in which it currently operates. “We do not believe in a fly-in fly-out model and will have ‘boots on the ground’ in our geographies,” comments Van Zijl.

“It’s important to have strong representation in each geography, with teams who know and understand their markets and are passionate about transforming these markets into green energy hubs. That’s something both SolarAfrica and Starsight Energy have always had in common: we know the people in our business have always been the reason for our success, and this new chapter will be no different,” Alheit concludes.