1.3 MWp Solar off-grid mini grids supply 6,657 households with electricity in Sierra Leone 

07.07.2021

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North of the equator in West Africa lies the Republic of Sierra Leone. The tropical country has about 7.8 million inhabitants and a total population density of 99 people per square kilometer. At the same time, the country's electrification rate is about 26 percent and even drops to only 6 percent in rural areas.  

To supply the rural regions with reliable and environmentally friendly electricity, the action plan of the Sierra Leone Ministry of Energy envisages to tap into the country's renewable resources. In view of this, the Sierra Leone Rural Renewable Electrification Project (RREP) was launched to support the government's goals. The project is implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) on behalf of the Ministry of Energy.


 
As a result, Germany-based solar system integrator and EPC provider Asantys Systems and its long-time partner HOPPECKE Batterien were contracted by Kenya-based PowerGen Renewable Energy and its InfraCo Africa-funded project company Off-Grid Power (SL) Ltd in Sierra Leone to supply 20 containerized solar systems. 

As part of the Rural Renewable Electrification Project (RREP), Off-Grid Power has successfully implemented Sierra Leone's largest off-grid energy project, providing green electricity to 6,657 rural households for the first time. 

Asantys Systems designed, procured, and delivered 20 mini-grid systems ranging from 30kWp to 130kWp using inverters from SMA Solar Technology and low-maintenance sun | power VR L 2-1250 lead-acid batteries from HOPPECKE. The total size of the project is 1.3MWp of solar power and 5.76MWh of battery capacity. 

Off-Grid Power received technical installation training in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone from Asantys Systems, HOPPECKE Batterien and SMA Sunbelt Energy shortly before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020. 

PowerGen Renewable Energy was able to install and commission the solar systems to power 6,657 households despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.