SteamaCo, a leading venture-backed microgrid monitoring and payments platform based in Kenya, has joined MSL and its efforts to drive systems-level innovation in clean “energy poverty” solutions, for those lacking dependable access to electricity. SteamaCo has built more than 30 rural microgrids throughout the developing world. The company’s technology enables microgrid owners to monitor performance remotely, and capture consumer payments via mobile phone-based payment platforms, thereby overcoming many of the major challenges of keeping rural microgrids functioning reliably and profitably.
As stated in a 2015 article in The Guardian, “This simple but fundamental transition stands to make investment in solar micro-grids a truly compelling prospect, bringing electricity to millions and giving local entrepreneurs the tools to thrive.”
SteamaCo provides all the tools necessary to run commercially viable rural microgrids in emerging economies. The company specializes in helping its clients develop commercially relevant, culturally appropriate business models providing access to basic services. Its platform includes everything from metering hardware to an online dashboard to provide all the needed analytics, forecasting, and control from a remote location.
The company addresses B2B markets, operates in four countries, and counts E.ON and Schneider Electric among its customers. With SteamaCo’s universal smart meter and cloud software, customers can use ubiquitous mobile money to sell energy to people without bank accounts, control supply, and influence demand, from anywhere. With these advanced capabilities, SteamaCo enables energy companies to turn solar panels into investable utility assets.
SteamaCo currently operates 70% of Kenya’s microgrid market, and 10,000 people at more than 30 sites rely on the company’s technology for their power and water. SteamaCo has £600k of sales pipeline across off-grid infrastructure projects, representing £15m of customer capital expense assets.
In the words of founder and CTO Sam Duby, “It seems that more and more people are waking up to both the concept of rural microgrids and the value that big data has for development. We’re trying to position ourselves at this nexus.” And evidently succeeding: SteamaCo was a 2015 Gold Award winner of the prestigious Ashden Awards, a globally recognized measure for excellence in the field of green energy.