The Off The Grid Club is a membership programme developed to bring together off grid tech providers, financiers & regional leaders to invest in & develop reliable & scalable power solutions for Africa. The programme will provide a platform for members to form partnerships, giving them the opportunity to scale up their products and bring them to market quicker.
The Off The Grid Club launched at the Africa Energy Forum in London this June, as African artists came together to perform in a special gig to raise awareness of the importance of energy access.
The gig was organised in partnership with Shake Your Power, one of the Founding Members of the Club. Music was used as a way of communicating to and uniting the audience, and to recognise how commercial off grid solutions can play a significant role in electrifying Africa.
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How did the Off The Grid Club come about?
On March 2nd 2016, EnergyNet attended the launch of the PowerTurtle - an innovative, off-grid energy solution for the pupils of Pheasant Folly Primary School in Gauteng. Following the South Africa: Gas Options conference in Cape Town last year, EnergyNet actively invested into the project via the "Not Just Talking" fund to help bring a sustainable and secure solution to the school, which could potentially be rolled out to other schools in the region.
Previously powered by expensive generators, Ugesi Gold’s James van der Walt and his team unveiling the PowerTurtle in front of an audience of members of the community, investors and technology providers from the private sector, VIP guests from the IPP Office and the President’s Office, and the children from the school themselves.
With crime and vandalism previously playing major roles in the disuse of solar PV power in South Africa, the PowerTurtle model is designed to provide secure, reliable and sustainable electricity for schools like Pheasant Folly Primary School.
Involved in the project alongside van der Walt were Gannie Nobel of RexiVista, Alastair Armstrong of AM Solar and Simon Gosling of EnergyNet Limited. Speeches were made by Lungelwa Tyali, Head of Operations at Ugesi Gold, Karen Breytenbach, Head of the IPP Office, Department of Energy, Silas Zimu, Senior Advisor to the President on Energy, the headmistress of the school and the project stakeholders.
Attendees were then treated to a practical demonstration of the PowerTurtle and performances by the school children, before cutting the ribbon to mark the beginning of a safer, cheaper, quieter and longer-term alternative to diesel generators.
This project sparked the idea to create a membership programme to help accelerate business for off grid companies using our conferences as platforms for relationship building.
To find out more about how to get involved in the Off the Grid Club or exhibit in the Off Gird Village at the Africa Energy Forum this year, visit the website