Africa has been a hotbed for off-grid solar over recent years, as the clean technology offers an affordable and reliable source of energy for areas that did not previously have such access to dependable power. Energy storage systems alongside these off-grid arrays can be equally important, as has been considered by Africa Green Tec for its project in Mali, by entering into an agreement with Tesvolt for the company’s energy storage solutions to work in tandem with off-grid solar arrays.
Africa Green Tec is taking the lead in supplying 25 villages with solar plus storage arrays, which are being financed by crowdfunding and then by loans. Each system will incorporate a 37-45 kWp PV array and a 60 kWh battery, and will cost €150,000.
There will be 50 systems set up in total, which will have a combined capacity of 3 MWh. The first one is being completed in the village of Djoliba, Africa Green Tec is hoping that all will be completed by 2018.
“The project demonstrates the potential of solar power and storage systems in particular in remote areas of the world that aren’t connected to the power grid,” commented Director of Engineering at Tesvolt Simon Schandert. “Our storage systems can be used anywhere and have a long service life. So naturally they’re an attractive option for locations that are hard to access, where the technology needs to be long lasting.”
These systems will be the first time that the villages have had such a reliable source of power, while the batteries will enable them to use the electricity generated at all hours of the day. They will also enable the villages to purchase electricity at over 75% less than what they were previously paying for energy produced by diesel generators. From €1.50 per kWh to €0.20 per kWh.
Africa Green Tec expressed its satisfaction with being able to work alongside such a well-established brand, which has a good level of experience for projects such as these. It is also advantageous that Tesvolt assembles the storage systems on site, as it makes transporting them to these regions easier.
“For our project in Mali, we needed a reliable supplier of high-performance energy storage systems,” said Africa Green Tec Founder and Managing Director Torsten Schreiber. “Tesvolt shares our commitment to the decentralized, green and reliable provision of energy. And they already have a great deal of experience with the established inverter technology of the global leader SMA Solar Technology.”