PV mini-grid to back Congolese farming

Jul 9, 2020 07:38 PM ET
  • Equatorial Power and SustainSolar are mounting containerized, off-grid solar battery power systems to support farming projects on an island in Lake Kivu.
PV mini-grid to back Congolese farming
Image: Max Chiswick/Wikimedia Commons

Ugandan mini-grid designer Equatorial Power has actually revealed plans to set up a system to power agricultural projects on Idjwi Island in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Equatorial and SustainSolar-- a South African off-grid PV system integrator concentrating on rural electrification in Africa-- will install containerized, off-grid solar-battery power systems on the continent's second-biggest inland island.

The designer will install SustainSolar's complete container solution, the Sustain Compact, which pairs SMA inverters with batteries from South African vendor SolarMD. The system supplies 29.7 kWp of solar as well as 88.8 kWh of lithium-ion battery storage capability in a 20-foot container.

Cape Town-based SustainSolar will manage door-to-door logistics, installment as well as commissioning.


" SustainSolar's plug 'n' play solution considerably reduces the operational complexity around sourcing as well as mounting the power generation system," stated Abishek Bharadwaj, chief technological officer of Equatorial Power. "This leaves our team with more time to concentrate on the circulation and metering infrastructure and offering customers earlier than common."

Equatorial has been running a solar mini-grid on Idjwi Island because 2019 which serves more than 300 homes and local business. The firm will construct its brand-new mini-grid on a story around 30km from the very first system. The companion firms will certainly connect a commercial hub and additional systems however the logistics are expected to be tough.

"Even under typical, non-Covid circumstances, managing the delivery of a 20-foot container onto an island in eastern Congo [is] a requiring job," claimed SustainSolar project engineer John Fadiran.

In January, Congolese head of state Felix Tshisekedi revealed strategies to utilize off-grid renewable energy systems to bring electricity to a minimum of 21 million individuals by 2029.

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