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Vodafone selects companies to complete renewable power generation trials at mobile sites

26 Oct 2022Protecting the Planet
5 minute read

Vodafone Group is working on plans with four organisations to carry out renewable power generation proof-of-concept trials across mobile access sites, following the conclusion of its Renewable Power Challenge competition announced earlier this year.

What was the Renewable Power Challenge?

Vodafone’s global competition invited organisations to submit innovative solutions to the challenge of powering mobile sites in rural or remote locations and without access to electricity grids, or where there are frequent power outages, while avoiding the use of fossil fuels on-site.

Organisations were requested to provide submissions across two categories. ‘Technology Solutions’ covers power generation technologies, alternative fuels and innovative storage solutions. ‘Partnership Models’ covers organisations that build and operate community power systems based on renewable energy.

Those companies selected are invited to present their solutions at Arch Summit, the start-up conference run by Vodafone and the State of Luxembourg joint-venture, Tomorrow Street, and will proceed to work with Vodafone on proof-of-concepts at mobile sites in Europe or Africa. Vodafone will share more details on the proof-of-concepts in the coming months.

Which companies will Vodafone be working with?

Vodafone has selected two organisations from each category to collaborate with on proof-of-concepts. These are:

  • Bboxx – provides technology and financing to enable consumers, businesses and communities accessing essential products and services including clean energy, clean cooking, connectivity, e-mobility and clean water (Partnership Model)
  • ENGIE Energy Access – a pay-as-you-go mini-grids solutions provider in Africa (Partnership Model)
  • Bladon Micro Turbine – a UK-based provider of reliable, low maintenance and clean-burning microturbines, with patented air-bearing capable of handling the fuel transition from diesel via sustainably sourced hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) to renewable hydrogen (Technology Solution)
  • Kynetic Energy Solutions – a Canada and Germany-based wind specialist providing a hybrid microgrid solution using vertical axis wind turbines, solar, and battery storage (Technology Solution)
About Bboxx and its Connected Communities mini-grid solution

Bboxx is a super platform that aims to transform lives and unlock potential by providing access to essential products and services across Africa. Bboxx says it is championing the economic development of Africa, accelerating the transition to the digital economy and creating new markets.

Together with Goshop, a solar engineering, procurement and construction company in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Bboxx has built a hybrid mini-grid model to supply energy to telecoms infrastructure, and to connect the local community around the telecom tower to clean energy solutions and services. Bboxx manages the financing, construction, operation, maintenance and customer management of each site, using a smart metering platform and mobile money payments.


Bboxx works to connect rural and urban communities with services including clean energy, clean cooking, smartphones, and loans. Following the acquisition of solar energy company PEG Africa, Bboxx says it is positively impacting the lives of more than 3.5 million people in 10 operating markets, directly contributing to 11 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The acquisition makes Bboxx and its group of companies one of the largest networks in Africa for utility services, with over 4,000 staff across the continent and offices in the UK and China.

Bboxx has worked with Vodafone previously on projects to bring energy to off-grid communities in Africa.

About ENGIE Energy Access

ENGIE Energy Access develops off-grid solar solutions for homes, public services and businesses, enabling customers and distribution partners access to clean, affordable energy on a pay-as-you-go basis. Customers can pay for their solar home systems on finance, repayable in small instalments.

ENGIE Energy Access operates in nine countries across Africa (Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia), employs more than 1,700 people and has more than 1.6 million customers. It aims to positively impact 20 million lives across Africa by 2025.

ENGIE Energy Access
ENGIE Energy Access – the MySol Grid solution

MySol Grid is designed to produce reliable, clean and affordable energy services for rural or isolated populations. It works as a solar ‘mini-grid’, connecting through smart electricity meters to consumers, businesses and public services in the area. Users are able to pay for their energy via mobile money platforms such as M-PESA.

ENGIE Energy Access has 15 mini-grid sites currently in operation or under construction, connecting around 6,900 houses and 500 businesses. It plans to have 330 MySol Grids in operation by 2025.

About Bladon Micro Turbine

Bladon Micro Turbine is a UK-based provider of micro-turbine technologies. It designs, develops and manufactures Micro Turbine Gensets, which Bladon describes as using high-speed, reliable and clean-burning micro-turbines together with patented air-bearing and heat exchanger technologies, requiring no water or oil.

Bladon Micro Turbine

Bladon has been supplying mobile companies around the world since 2017, including Vodacom, part of Vodafone Group, at sites in South Africa. Its technology is designed to provide mobile sites with reliable power while requiring little maintenance and producing low emissions and noise.

Bladon’s micro-turbines can also be combined with other renewable energy sources including solar, wind and battery storage solutions.

About Kynetic Energy Solutions
Kynetic Energy Solutions

Kynetic Energy Solutions offers a hybrid-microgrid solution that combines the use of vertical access wind turbines, solar products, and lithium battery energy storage and controllers to generate power.

Kynetic’s vertical access wind turbines

Kynetic’s vertical access wind turbines are specifically designed to generate clean, renewable power for mobile towers in rural or remote locations, without requiring maintenance. The blades have been developed to self-start and capture wind from 360 degrees, enabling them to produce power in both low and high wind conditions.

Vodafone’s commitments to the planet

We believe that our success as a business should not come at a cost to the environment. We are committed to ensure the greening of all of our activities and see a key role for our digital networks and technologies in helping to address climate change.

  • Africa
  • COP27
  • Cost of living
  • Europe
  • Infrastructure
  • Innovation
  • Net Zero
  • Networks
  • Partnerships
  • Protecting the Planet
  • Reducing emissions
  • Responsible supply chain
  • Rural connectivity
  • SDG 13
  • SDG 9
  • SDGs
  • Sustainability
  • Technology

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