Microgrid launched in Togo. BBOXX and EDF.

A village in Togo saw the launch of a new microgrid project, the Tomorrow’s Connected Community, developed by BBOXX, which aims to unlock the economic potential of entire communities.

The project looks to promote the concept of ‘communities of the future’ and is being rolled out in the rural village of Sikpé Afidégnon in Togo.

BBOXX has implemented the microgrid concept in Togo alongside EDF, which holds a 50% stake in BBOXX Togo, under the brand BBOXX avec EDF. BBOXX and EDF are also engaged with additional innovative international and local partners to make this Togo project a reality.

Sikpé Afidégnon comprises of 300 houses and 4,000 people in the south of the country and, through this project, will be powered by solar electricity including, streetlights, households, schools and small shops.

The community can also access other utility products and services, such as clean cooking solutions, internet services and water pumps.

The project is run on a microgrid developed by General Electric to meet higher energy consumption needs, as well as BBOXX’s solar home systems to power households and SMEs.

It showcases a complete solution to meet the developing world’s energy challenges. All of the services operate through BBOXX Pulse, the company’s comprehensive digital management platform, which manages customer service and product maintenance using data and predictive analytics.

Cina Lawson, Togo’s minister of postal affairs and digital economy, commented: “In Sikpé, we are powering a mobile tower with clean and low-cost energy. As a result, inhabitants now have access to electricity to improve their everyday lives and to boost economic activity.

”By harnessing the Internet of Things, this project will be managed automatically and remotely, offering an excellent quality of service to the community. This demonstrates the crucial role played by technological innovation in economic development.”

Adding to this, Marc Ably-Bidamon, Togo’s minister of mines and energy, also commented: “The concept of ‘Tomorrow’s Connected Community’ demonstrates further collaboration between the digital economy, technology and energy sectors. Thanks to the energy supply provided by the telecom towers, the inhabitants of the village now have access not only to electricity, but also to internet and additional value-added services.”

He continued: “Our vision and top priority is to provide access to electricity for all by 2030, while using environmentally friendly means. This is why we put a particular emphasis on solar energy. Thanks to the combination of different technology that include solar kits and mini-grids and the extension of the current network, our ambition is to increase the electrification rate of Togo to 50% in 2020, 75% in 2025 and 100% by 2030.”

Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and co-founder of BBOXX, commented: “Tomorrow’s Connected Community demonstrates our ability to supply electricity and other essential utilities to not only individual households, but to entire communities and businesses.

“By working with partners, we can truly deliver a decentralised and digitalised future in the developing world at scale. We have shown what can be possible and we look forward to rolling this ‘community of the future’ out across other locations globally.

“This launch equally demonstrates our commitment to managing rapid urbanisation and meeting United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 to create sustainable cities and communities – in addition to the other 10 out of 17 SDGs to which BBOXX is also contributing. This marks an important stride towards our vision of achieving 100% electrification for the first time on the continent and beyond.”

The EDF Group supports BBOXX development by contributing commercial resources, technological know-how in battery performances, as well as its on-the-ground experience in developing off-grid solutions in several African countries.

Valerie Levkov, EDF senior vice-president in charge of Africa, commented: “We are proud to be actively involved with BBOXX Togo to deliver innovative, CO2-free and life-changing electricity solutions. Mini-grids such as the one we inaugurated today represent a major achievement in accelerating access to electricity in Africa. We do believe it is replicable not only in Togo but more broadly across Africa and we are looking forward to further developing similar solutions elsewhere.”