Press Release | 2019.03 | The Australian CleanTech Startup that’s Sparking Change Around the World
In global efforts to combat climate change, it is vital that we look to the future to stay ahead of greenhouse emissions targets. Whilst climate action plans are centred on high energy consumers, there are still one billion people that don’t have access to reliable electricity.
Australian IoT startup, Okra, have recently secured $480k USD in SAFE note investment from Schneider Electric and Smart Axiata as they take charge in bringing about a renewable energy revolution to the energy consumers of tomorrow. Okra is helping off-grid communities around the world leapfrog fossil fuels to become 100% renewable from the sky down, using distributed solar smart grids that provide clean power around the clock.
New partnerships with infrastructure development groups will see Okra energise 10,000 people across the Philippines, Cambodia and Indonesia, within the next 12 months. This will be an important and ambitious proof of concept, requiring participation from multiple stakeholders, electricity cooperatives, telcos and distributors, to demonstrate that it is possible to spark positive impact on a global scale by providing reliable electricity to the people that need it most.
Off-grid families in Cambodia that are connected to Okra’s pilot grids are now consistently powering basic appliances that most of us take for granted: lights, phone chargers, fans, TV’s, water pumps, washing machines and refrigerators. These communities are also using Okra to power agritech appliances like cricket incubators, egg incubators and rice dryers. The combined use of these appliances has helped off-grid families generate up to three times their normal annual income whilst transitioning into more modern, technology driven lifestyles.
Okra considers energy access a basic human right. As hyper-modern technologies like artificial intelligence, 3D printing and virtual reality, become mainstream in developed countries, one billion are at risk of being left behind unless there is rapid investment in off-grid energy infrastructure and development.
Okra will close its seed round in September 2019 after raising an additional $1.4M dollars, following their successful expansion into Filipino and Indonesian markets.
How the Tech Works?
Okra’s DC distributed technology enables standalone solar home systems to be connected into smart grids, meaning households can draw excess power from their neighbours for intermittent and productive use. Okra’s novel DC grid architecture costs about one-third of the cost of traditional AC microgrids and by connecting systems together, machine learning enabled software automatically diverts power in the most efficient manner, meaning less solar panels and batteries are required to ensure grid stability.
We hope you can join us to bring awareness to this important conversation. Available upon request:
- Interview with Afnan Hannan – co-founder & CEO of Okra Solar
- Interview with Mr. Sophal – commune leader of Prey M’Reas, Okra’s first off-grid pilot site
Phone: +855 9640 22651 (Cambodia)
Phone: +855 16 897 438 (Cambodia)