Momint, a Cape Town-based blockchain start-up, has developed a blockchain-based offering that aims to help ease South Africa’s energy crisis by allowing anyone to invest in solar power and resell it to institutions.
According to the company, people living in Limpopo, Western Cape and Mpumalanga can purchase solar cells – a constituent part of solar panels – from as little as R150 through the SunCash web site.
The solar cells are then installed by trusted solar panel partners at an institution of their choice, such as a school, business, hospital or factory, which is in need of solar power.
Investors lease their solar cells purchased via SunCash to the institution, through the use of a standard power purchase agreement to buy the solar power.
In return, solar cell investors earn an estimated 12% return per annum (paid out on a quarterly basis by SunCash in Rands), says the company.
The project is premised on a crowdfunding model, allowing multiple investors to fund a single project, whileraising money to fund the institution’s solar project. The process leverages blockchain technology to increase transparency, while reducing the cost of transactions.
The company has partnered with The Sun Exchange, which allows investors to buy solar cells, for as little as $4, at a project of their choice.
“As a company committed to our country’s continued economic growth, we’ve decided to use the resources at our disposal to help address the devastating impact that load-shedding has had on our country’s businesses, rural communities and schools,” explains Momint CEO, Ahren Posthumus.
“The idea is to simply cut Eskom out of the equation. The portal aims to provide South Africans with the opportunity to sell renewable energy to each other, while earning a passive income from it. We are reaffirmed by the fact that legal challenges are being launched on multiple fronts against Eskom, the government and the energy regulator. But right now, we deserve access to a stable power supply that has been made possible by South Africans, for South Africans.”
One of the first sites to receive its solar power installation through the SunCash portal is the Delmas High School in Mpumalanga, which will have converted fully to renewable energy by the end of this January, notes the company.
Momint says it is already in talks with partners to expand the initiative nationally.
Current installations in the Western Cape include the Westcliff School of Skills in Bellville, and Tafelsee Apartments in Cape Town.
“We encourage South Africans to invest in solar energy and renewable power through suncash.co.za. They will earn a passive income from it and help decrease the load on Eskom. Ideally, with enough support, SunCash will deliver reliable, renewable power and clean energy to all South Africans in the next five years – we certainly can’t wait that long for Eskom to turn things around,” concludes Posthumus.