E.ON Off Grid Solutions - Komolo 7.5 kW-peak Solar-PV/Battery hybrid mini-grid in the Manyara region of Tanzania
Who, What & Where
E.ON Off Grid Solutions
1st of 10 Installations: Komolo 7.5 kW-peak Solar-PV/Battery hybrid mini-grid
Manyara region, Tanzania
E.ON Off Grid Solutions (“EOGS”) develops, owns and operates off-grid energy systems in rural areas in Africa based on renewable energy. Current focus is Tanzania, but it is foreseen to extend operations into other (East / Sub-Saharan) African countries post 2016.
In East Africa EOGS operates under the brand name Rafiki Power (in Swahili means friendly power)
Customer segments are villages and businesses without access to the main electricity grid. Technology focus are Solar Hybrid Systems (currently PV / Battery / Diesel).
Komolo is a village of 1,500 people and is far away from the electricity grid.
Currently only inefficient and cost-intensive solutions, e.g. small diesel generators and kerosene lighting (so high fuel costs), are used for lightning, phone charging and electrical appliances.
The current situation is costly and hinders development. While SHS are available to provide basic functionality if people can afford it a different solution is needed to allow for economic development in the long term.
EOGS developed a containerized hybrid system including a 7.5kWp Solar PV array (~30kWh/day) and a 50kWh battery storage system.
The System runs on 230V AC allowing customers to connect “standard appliances” be flexible in their consumption and enable the connection of productive use systems
The container is divided into two parts: the back houses all electrical equipment and in the front there is a kiosk (with a refrigerator, battery charging station etc.) enabling the community to afford (via financing) the procurement of consumer as well as productive use applications
A mini-grid has been built up to connect individual customers directly at their house. The whole system is based on mobile money electricity and added value sales (prepaid) as well as customer services.
Project Financing and Costs
The total project investment was approx. 100.000 USD (~50% for the power system, ~30% for labor and ~20% for the mini-grid) for this first pilot in 2014. During the 9 successive installations we have significantly driven down costs (alteration of technology, Procurement and efficient last mile processes) to allow for sustainable scalability going forward.
The pilot projects were fully financed by EOGS. Going forward we are looking for partners to roll out the model across Africa.
Currently 10 projects are implemented in the wider Arusha region and the development of another 100 is currently in its final phase. We will be ready for execution by end 2016.