Solarcentury, the global integrated solar power company with operations across Europe, Latin America and Africa, is pleased to announce the completion and commissioning of two solar-hybrid mini grids, bringing power to the rural communities of Areza and Maidma in Eritrea in east Africa.
This project is a state-of-the-art hybrid power system, combining solar photovoltaics with lithium batteries and backup diesel generators in a location remote from the country’s power grid. The system integrates world-class technologies, including Tesla batteries and Caterpillar generators.
Construction of the project took 8 months, employing local contractors and consultants working with Solarcentury project managers, as well as international contractors. After final completion the site will be operated by the Eritrean Electricity Company – whose staff have received extensive training by Solarcentury and are now closely involved in site operations.
The 1.25 MWp system in Areza and 1 MWp in Maidma are mini-grids, providing grid-quality power to 40,000 people and businesses where there is no main grid power. These communities were previously served by small diesel generators which are environmentally damaging, costly to run, and only able to provide limited power. The solar mini-grids provide clean, stable power 24/7.
The project was funded by the Eritrean Government with support from the European Union Delegation to the State of Eritrea and the United Nations Development Programme.
Solarcentury project manager, Theo Guerre-Canon, commented:
“The community are at the heart of this project. Our hope is that access to reliable electricity will support wider economic growth in the region, and social development. For example, there’s a clinic in Areza that will now benefit from uninterrupted electricity.
“The Eritrean project presents a model for rural electrification, and Solarcentury is in discussions about similar projects across Africa.”
Tesfai Ghebrehiwet, Director of Renewable Energy, Ministry of Energy and Mines, added:
“Solarcentury were very focused, and kept the project progressing at a quick pace in remote conditions. The Ministry of Energy and Mines are very pleased with the process and results.”