A village in East Africa is soon to be the recipient of a solar-powered microgrid, which will be able to supply power to more than one village.
With no utility or supporting infrastructure in the area, EnSync Energy Systems, a developer of innovative distributed energy resources (DERs), is seeking to install a 180kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system paired with a 112-kWh energy storage system this spring.
According to the energy developer, the project was sold to a buyer who will sell electricity to village residents via the microgrid, essentially serving as the area micro-utility.
Adding that Africa is projected to contain 35,000 microgrids by 2021 that will serve as key electricity providers to millions of people who currently lack access.
“The DER SuperModule enables rapid commissioning of an advanced microgrid, significantly reducing project construction schedule and cost,” said Dan Nordloh, executive vice president of EnSync Energy.
Nordloh explained: “The system offers simplicity, while also mitigating the risks associated with integrating multiple distributed energy resources.
“Our customer was looking for a way to serve as the utility, selling affordable and reliable electricity to remote villages on a mobile phone-based payment platform.”
The project was designed on the village’s initial expected energy load to appropriately size the microgrid’s solar and storage components.
The resulting micro-utility configuration will remain flexible through the company’s SuperModule’s supporting technologies.
Brad Hansen, chief executive officer of the energy firm said that the African market is shifting towards distributed energy resource-based generation and distribution, with more of these types of micro-utilities to be expected in the coming future.
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