Gridworks investee, Mettle Solar, makes joint investment in new solar plant powering Liquid Telecom’s East Africa Data Centre


Gridworks investee company, Mettle Solar has today announced its joint investment, alongside Distributed Power Africa (DPA), into a solar power plant powering the largest data centre in East Africa.

Mettle and DPA have invested in EADC Asset Co – a company specifically set up to own and operate a 1.1MW solar plant powering Liquid Telecom’s East Africa Data Centre (EADC) in Nairobi.

The solar power plant will provide clean, low-cost and reliable energy to EADC, reducing their reliance on expensive and polluting diesel generation. EADC enables cloud service providers, carriers and businesses to host their critical data, cloud-based services, applications and back-end systems in Africa, at a time when data privacy and data residency are becoming increasingly important.

CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, which owns and backs Gridworks, also provided debt funding to the project through a facility made available to Mettle Solar via CDC Group’s Resource Efficiency Facility. CDC is also a key shareholder in Liquid Telecom, having made two investments totalling US$220m in the company since December 2018.

Simon Hodson, Gridworks CEO said:

“Data centres play a significant part in boosting the digital infrastructure that is vital for improving internet access across Africa. However, they can be very energy intensive, so it’s important that they can use green, low-cost and reliable power. I’m proud that our investee company, Mettle Solar is investing in the energy infrastructure needed to run one of Africa’s fastest-growing data centres.

“This is another example of how Mettle and Gridworks works with renewable energy developers across Africa to bring cheaper and cleaner energy solutions to commercial and industrial clients.”

Francois Van Themaat, Mettle Solar CEO, said

“We are very happy and excited to be working with Norman and his team at DPA to help reduce the energy costs and carbon footprint of the largest data centre in East Africa. We look forward to building on this partnership with DPA and to keep on playing our part to assist businesses across the region with their energy needs”

Norman Moyo, DPA Africa CEO added:

We are excited to have a DFI-backed company like Mettle, as a co-investor alongside DPA. With sub-Sahara Africa experiencing major power cuts, businesses in Africa are increasingly interested in affordable and reliable energy.  We also believe energy to be a fundamental pillar in supporting Africa’s economic development, and this unique partnership is an important building block towards realising our vision of a digitally connected future that leaves no African behind.”


Media contact:

Rhyddid Carter ([email protected])