Year End Reflections - Sun Exchange in 2018
Year In Review
Published: 28 Dec 2018
Year End Reflections - Sun Exchange in 2018
With the end of 2018 around the corner, we’d like to take a moment to share our reflections on what the year has held for Sun Exchange. It’s been a time of tremendous growth, as well as challenges and opportunities for learning, all of which have further strengthened our ability to pursue our mission of harnessing the power of the sun for the benefit of humankind.
Sun Exchange hosted and successfully completed crowd-sales for three new solar projects in 2018. This resulted in the total power-generating capacity of Sun Exchange solar projects growing nearly five-fold compared to this time last year, with our current capacity now being 745.5 kW. At the beginning of the year we projected that the total energy production for our projects in 2018 would be 200.6 MWh, and we’re happy to report that we met and even exceeded that projection, with our total 2018 production to date being 203.5 MWh. This means that in 2018 the total carbon offset from our solar projects was 199,474 kilograms, which is the equivalent of planting 9,067 trees, or eliminating the carbon footprint of 312 flights from New York to London.
This year’s new solar projects include the largest Sun Exchange project to date, the 473kW project powering the Nioro recycled plastics manufacturing plant in Cape Town. Other new projects from this year are solar powering environmental NGO, South South North, and Sacred Heart College, a historic school in Johannesburg renowned for its social justice work. These 2018 additions to the Sun Exchange portfolio are now live and streaming solar-powered money straight into our members’ digital wallets, while bringing affordable clean power to South African organizations doing good for society and the environment.
In terms of our technology, one of the biggest accomplishments for Sun Exchange this year was the introduction of SUNEX, our new digital rewards token, which leverages crypto-economy principles to make the Sun Exchange user experience more lucrative and rewarding. With the debut of SUNEX also came the introduction of the Sun Exchange Solar Project Relocation Facility (formerly the Solar Project Insurance Fund), which enhances security and reliability for Sun Exchange solar cell purchasers. Through our SUNEX token sale, we have allocated 28,187,984 tokens to date, which will all be put to work in 2019 optimizing the Sun Exchange user experience. It’s no secret that it’s been a tough year for the cryptocurrency market overall. Yet, we are proud that Sun Exchange has weathered the storm and gone beyond the hype, gaining a wealth of knowledge along the way. We’re now entering a more mature era of the crypto economy where real-world benefits of decentralized finance systems begin to truly take shape.
Just as we’ve bolstered our technology and project portfolio, we have also been fortunate to build out our team with bright, passionate, innovative new Sun Exchange team members. John Wallace joined us as head of business development, applying deep business leadership and management experience to build a robust solar project pipeline. Liam Kelly joined as Sun Exchange marketing lead, bringing his creativity and shrewd brand communications skills to tell the Sun Exchange story and build our global brand visibility and engagement. Saul Wainwright was appointed interim CFO, bringing vast startup management and consulting experience from Silicon Valley. Additionally, Lisa Lyhne, who previously served as the Sun Exchange COO, was promoted to Managing Director, and Lourens Coetzer was promoted to Chief Technology Officer. Last but not least, the Sun Exchange advisor bench also grew, with the addition of prominent crypto industry leaders, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert, of The Keiser Report and Heisenberg Capital.
This has also been a great year for establishing valuable industry partnerships, which create opportunity for Sun Exchange to reach new markets. Our partnership with Powerhive, a Kenya-based rural mini-grid solutions provider, sets the stage for Sun Exchange to make a significant impact in combating energy poverty by bringing solar power to 175,000 people currently living without electricity. Additionally, new partnerships with the United Nations Development Programme and SolarCoin will enable Sun Exchange to reach beyond Africa and pilot blockchain-based solar finance in Moldova.
Another important milestone this year was the $500,000 seed investment Sun Exchange received from multi-million-dollar hedge fund, Alphabit. We were thrilled about the boost the investment provided for Sun Exchange to continue scaling, and about what it signifies regarding Alphabit’s belief in our capacity to leverage decentralization to create a more sustainable and equitable world. Alphabit CEO, Liam Robertson, said he believes “it will be one of the best equity investments Alphabit has made to date.”
The year also brought great opportunities to build our industry profile. In July, Sun Exchange was listed the 90th most disruptive business in the world as voted by Google, Oracle and other tech industry leaders, in the #Disrupt100 index. Sun Exchange also won the energy blockchain challenge at the VivaTech pitch competition in France, and took second place at a TokenMatch investor pitch session in London. Our CEO and Founder, Abe Cambridge, delivered well-received keynote presentations at World Blockchain Forum in London and Blockchain2Energy in Singapore. Additionally, Sun Exchange received glowing press coverage from news outlets including Forbes Africa, CNBC Africa, Reuters, The Keiser Report and CoinDesk, among others.
As we consider both triumphs and challenges that 2018 brought for Sun Exchange, we are overcome with gratitude for the unwavering support we’ve received from the entire Sun Exchange community including our members, off takers, staff, investors, partners and more. Our community is a constant reminder of why we do the work we do. We are filled with energy and excitement as we head into 2019, for what is already shaping up to be a defining year for Sun Exchange to scale to new levels on the path towards actualizing our vision of unlocking the benefits of solar power for all of humanity.
From the entire team at Sun Exchange, we wish you a wonderful holiday season, and we look forward to continuing to share the sunny journey ahead in the New Year!