Tanzania: France's Total buys stakes in solar power start-ups

Feb 04, 2016 12:00 AM

French oil and gas company Total has acquired stakes in two solar power start-ups via its $150 million Total Energy Ventures venture capital fund as it expands in renewable energy.

The oil giant said in a statement on Tuesday that the deals involved no more than 15 percent of Tanzania-and California- based Off Grid Electric, and California-based Powerhive.

It did not disclose the value of the deals, but a spokeswoman said they would typically be worth between $1 and $5 million.

Total Energy Ventures has stakes in some 20 firms. "Their systems are expected to speed up electrification in Africa and could be as much a game changer as mobile phones were in their field," Total Chief Executive, Patrick Pouyanne said in a statement.

Both start-ups offer solar power for use in areas with little or no access to electricity power grids, especially in emerging markets such as Africa.

Off Grid Electric develops and distributes home solar systems and battery storage to power small appliances, while Powerhive develops and operates solar power microgrids with battery storage and local distribution.

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