South African blockchain-based solar micro-leasing marketplace Sun Exchange has launched SUNEX, a new digital network token built for the Sun Exchange platform.
Sun Exchange, which secured a US$1.6 million funding round last year, allows members to earn income while helping to bring solar power to developing global regions. Through its online platform, members can purchase solar photovoltaic (PV) cells for approximately US$10 per cell and lease them to be installed in solar projects.
Solar cell owners receive lease rental payments, paid optionally in fiat currency or cryptocurrency, while offtakers enjoy the benefits of affordable clean energy.
The new SUNEX network token is utilised in the new Sun Exchange Solar Project Insurance Fund (SPIF), designed to minimise risk and unlock financing for previously financially underserved solar projects.
The SUNEX token and SPIF are designed to maximise benefits for Sun Exchange members, while removing major obstacles for financing solar energy installations in developing regions. The SUNEX digital token is an ERC20 standard token built on the Ethereum blockchain. It is designed to make solar asset ownership through Sun Exchange more affordable and rewarding.
“The new Sun Exchange SPIF creates a new layer of security and reliability as the company grows, stimulating investment in impactful solar projects,” said Larry Temlock, co-founder and chief financial officer (CFO) of Sun Exchange. “The SPIF is the world’s first crowd-sourced default insurance fund for clean energy projects in emerging markets.”
Abraham Cambridge, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Sun Exchange, said small commercial and industrial solar projects can drive urgent economic development by powering organisations such as hospitals, schools, small and medium businesses in developing regions.
“However, with aid organisations and NGOs primarily funding residential solar, and large banks and financiers only backing large and utility-scale projects, C&I solar projects fall into a major funding gap,” he said.
“With the new SUNEX network token and SPIF, Sun Exchange is leveraging blockchain and the crypto-economy to further bridge that funding gap and address a very real global challenge that can impact the lives of millions.”
To date, Sun Exchange has provided financing for four solar projects throughout South Africa, which are now fully operational. The crowdsale for its fifth project, which will provide power for environmental NGO South South North, recently sold out in a record-breaking two weeks.
The SUNEX network token will be available to existing Sun Exchange members and the general public through a public token sale event, starting April 22. The Sun Exchange SPIF will be established shortly after the close of the token sale.