Solarcentury Partners With The EU And UNDP In Powering Remote Communities In Eritrea
UK solar company Solarcentury has been selected to design and build two solar powered mini-grids using solar PV and lithium batteries to power the communities of Areza and Maidma in Eritrea, East Africa. The €5.7million contract will showcase the use of solar hybrid power systems to provide grid quality power to 40,000 people and businesses remote from the grid and presents a model for rural electrification across Africa.
The overall project is funded by the European Union through the ACP EU Energy Facility (10th European Development Fund € 8,000,000), the Government of the State of Eritrea (€1,893,429) and the United Nations Development Programme in Eritrea (€ 1,923,284).It will be managed by the Eritrean Ministry of Energy and Mines. Areza and Maidma have no grid power, so are currently served by small diesel generators which are environmentally damaging and economically costly to run, providing a limited and intermittent power supply.
A representative of the Eritrean Ministry of Energy and Mines said, “This project aims to improve the livelihoods of people living in rural towns and villages. It is hoped the project will be replicated in order to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change in Eritrea and provide access to reliable power 24/7."
Dr Daniel Davies, Director of Hybrid Power Systems at Solarcentury said, “Solar power and energy storage technologies are increasingly the most cost-effective way to deliver clean reliable power to areas remote from the grid. This exciting project builds on the work we have done elsewhere in Africa and will demonstrate the amazing potential for solar to provide low-cost reliable power in isolated areas".
The project is scheduled for completion in early 2018.