Smart solar geyser startup Plentify wins EDF Pulse Africa SA

Cape Town based smart solar geyser startup Plentify has been named the winner of the SA finals of the EDF Pulse Africa innovation contest.

French electric utility company EDF explained in a statement last week that the startup was selected as the winner for its solution which turns turns water heaters into grid-connected thermal batteries which intelligently “recharge” when electricity is abundant on the grid.

By doing this, EDF said Plentify improves reliability, decreasing reliance on dirty, expensive generation, which saves households more than 50% of their water heating costs.

Plentify was founded in 2017 by Jon Kornik

The startup does this with an easy-to-install Internet of Things (IoT) controller, a user friendly mobile application and a cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) engine which turns each water heater on or off, based on the needs of the user and the grid.

Plentify was founded in 2017 by Jon Kornik.

The EDF Pulse Africa challenge, which is now in its third year, aims to reveal and support African innovators committed to the continent’s energy development.

The challenge aims to identify potential partners by discovering the continent’s “technological gems”, as well as support innovation by involving local entrepreneurs in the development of innovative offers.

The third edition of the challenge saw EDF launch the EDF Pulse Africa Tour which spans seven countries including Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Togo.

Plentify will now participate in the grand finale of the contest which will be held in Paris in November. There it will be joined by the six national winners from the other participating countries.

The winners of the EDF Pulse Africa final will each receive grants ranging from €5000 to €15 000.

In addition, each will receive support that includes operational and financial advice, project development partnerships with local stakeholders such as incubators and access to EDF’s innovation ecosystem including EDF’s own research and development and creativity labs.

SolarTurtle awarded accolade

In all seven startups were selected to compete in the SA final. They presented energy solutions in three categories, namely off-grid power generation, electrical power applications and services, and access to water through the use of electricity.

The startups pitched their solutions to a panel of experts composed of EDF Southern Africa VP Luc Koechlin, France SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FSACCI) director Marjolaine Pierrat-Ferraille, Kukhanye Energy Services CEO Vicky Basson, GIBB Power business development manager Julien Dumas and Fliptin CEO Mustapha Zaouini, and Oppenheimer Partners investment partner Frederic Dupouy.

SolarTurtle, a Stellenbosch-based firm which has developed an intelligent solar battery charging kiosk that provides rural entrepreneurs with products and tools required to launch their own businesses received the FSACCI Coup de Coeur Award.

Koechlin said for the third edition of EDF Pulse Africa, the firm has diversified the way projects are screened so as to make sure that they match the needs of the local economy as well as EDF’s activities in the region.

“Selecting the seven finalists was quite a challenge given the originality and quality of the projects we received.

“We are proud to support South African startup companies whose ambitious projects will be part of the energy solutions for tomorrow,” added Koechlin.

Featured image: AEAward via YouTube



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