The German company will install the solar plus storage system in the Mam Rashan refugee camp, located in the Dohuk district of northern Iraq, near the Syrian and Turkish borders. Currently 10,000 people are located there.
The system is expected to be operational by this spring, with additional funding potentially opening up more opportunities for the expansion of the system in the future.
What the developers have termed iEMS (intelligent energy management software), will allow camp admins to schedule and prioritize the delivery of power based on the varying needs of residents. This will help ensure greater stability to a camp, where electricity is needed for health and education purposes.
The energy storage system will include a 300 kWp PV plant, and will insure a more stable supply of electricity compared to the diesel generators normally used. Diesel fuel is more expensive that solar PV, but is also a danger to transport, especially in zones of insurgency and conflict.
The iEMS is cheaper to run and simpler to use, with a user friendly “plug and play” 10-foot-high container. Furthermore, a portion of the camp will be able to use electricity during the day, compared to the current situation, where consistent power is only achieved at night. According to atmosfair, the PV system will provide the camp with 20% total energy in the daytime.
The German state of Baden-Württemberg and its Foundation for Development and Cooperation (SEZ) are funding the project, which will be overseen by atmosfair, a non-profit that helps businesses reduce their carbon emissions.
“We hope that by increasing the energy independence of Mam Rashan, this technology will improve the quality of life for people residing in the camp. We also look forward to training locals in installation and facility-maintenance skills,” said Matthias Ross, co-founder of Autarsys.
Baden-Württemberg Secretary of State Theresa Schopper added, “In 2017, a solar project to power a refugee camp and a business start-up project for women each received € 400,000, making significant improvements for local people […] With the help of the Baden-Württemberg project, the camp will receive an uninterruptible power supply from renewable sources.”