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Global power solutions firm, General Electric (GE), in collaboration with a local entity, Solar Tech, have commissioned a scalable microgrid system powered by a hybrid distributed power unit for Digo Village, in the Oromia region. 

The system, which was implemented in partnership with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, the Oromia Region Energy bureau as well as Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) will provide power to 1,500 inhabitants of the village.

The commissioning is consistent with Ethiopia’s National Electrification Programme – Implementation Road Map (NEP-IRM), which seeks for a coordinated off-grid implementation programme plan, designed for accelerated scale-up of mini grid solutions in rural and deep rural areas.

According to Dr. Sileshi Bekele, Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, “Electricity access is an essential pillar of economic and social development. Localised solutions such as the hybrid distributed power unit provided by GE will be part of the solution to electrify Ethiopia going forward.”

Hybrid distributed power unit

The hybrid distributed power unit combines PV solar panels, batteries, and a diesel generator to provide reliable, cost effective power to a mini-grid system. Read more: Kenya launches new platform to accelerate mini-grid industry

The company further stated that its Predix platform, designed for digital Industrial Internet of Things, maximises the use of clean solar power and batteries for the unit while a variable speed diesel generator provides essential backup when battery power is insufficient.

The entire system is containerised inside a standard shipping container that can be efficiently and speedily installed.

The Digo village hybrid power system is GEs third installation in Ethiopia.

Last year, the power company funded two similar units at Health Centres in Guba and Ashoka in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region region.

“Electrification of Digo is a continuation of the impactful contribution that GE Is making in Ethiopia, while playing a central role in the implementation of Growth and Transformation Plan priority projects,” concluded Daniel Hailu, chief executive officer of GE in Ethiopia.

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