News at the University of New Brunswick

Startup to showcase microhome powered completely by renewable energy

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Dec 7, 2017

Category: UNB Fredericton

Mbissa Energy, a technology startup focused on bringing renewable energy to underserved markets, invites stakeholders, partners, and media to visit the location of its New Brunswick microhome and meet founder Caleb Grove on Thursday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m.

Guests will learn how Mbissa’s technology can transform lives not only in rural Africa, where the company has established a key beachhead for its product, but also in Canada where access to the traditional energy grid is either lacking or where homeowners seek alternatives to traditional energy.

This microhome, located at 1276 Route 105 in Douglas, N.B., uses 100 per cent renewable solar and wind energy in order to run basic electrical services.

“I'm excited to show off the technology and business model that we've been able to develop this year with support from Energia Ventures and the Technology Management & Entrepreneurship program at the University of New Brunswick,” says Mr. Grove.

“I look forward to showing how this support is going to allow us to efficiently bring sustainable electricity to entire communities in Cameroon, Canada and beyond.”

Launched out of the Master in Technology Management & Entrepreneurship program and propelled through UNB’s Energia accelerator, Mbissa Energy has completed 40 renewable energy installations in homes, clinics, and businesses on and around the island of Mbissa, Cameroon. These solar installations have directly impacted 240 people to date.

Mr. Grove plans to return to Cameroon in January to train another team of technicians who he hopes can complete installations across the entire island of Mbissa within eight months.

Mbissa is a small island with a population of approximately 3,000. Subsistence farming and fishing accounts for the bulk of local industry, and many residents survive on little more than the bare necessities.

“Mbissa Energy is a great example of how a technology company can improve quality of life across the globe, while being a sustainable, for-profit business,” says Dhirendra Shukla, chair of the Dr. J. Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management & Entrepreneurship at UNB. “Focusing on powering rural Africa with renewable energy will also allow these regions to leapfrog the traditional fossil fuel industry, and allow communities to remain self-sufficient.

About Energia Ventures

Energia Ventures is a business accelerator based in Fredericton, New Brunswick, with a worldwide reach. Our program participants are focused in the energy, cybersecurity, and smart grid sectors. Operated by the Dr. J. Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management & Entrepreneurship at the University of New Brunswick, Energia Ventures was launched in early 2016, and has helped launch companies such as Beauceron Security and Stash Energy Storage.

Media contact: Luke Robertson

Photo: Mbissa Energy founder Caleb Grove at a 2017 pitch competition at UNB. Credit: Rob Blanchard / Photo UNB