Winch Energy Electrifies First Off-Grid Village in Mauritania


Winch Energy is a global, off-grid renewable energy developer. In March 2016, Winch Energy agreed to partner with EREN Renewable Energy to jointly develop and invest in renewable power projects across Africa and elsewhere. Winch Energy’s proprietary technology, the RPU, is a containerized hybrid solar PV solution equipped with battery storage, designed for 24×7 power delivery in off-grid locations. It is robust, durable, secure, produces zero emission of greenhouse gas or air pollutants, and is silent. The RPU is a rugged solution with a life expectancy of 30+ years, requiring limited maintenance and servicing, thanks to the absence of moving parts, remote monitoring and fault detection.

“The future is looking very bright: our innovative and profitable technology will forever change the lives of the people most in need. It is very clear that bringing access to electricity, water and communications for remote African communities equates to better and more prosperous lives. This is a mission, not a job and I feel very privileged to be on this journey.” – Nicholas Wrigley, CEO

Winch Energy also announces that it has entered in an agreement with the Ministry of Petrol, Energy and Mines of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania to provide up to 100 off-grid villages in Mauritania with electricity, water and Wi-Fi connectivity, through its RPUs, mini grids and smart meters.

In Nimjat, the first RPU produces sufficient electricity to power the school, the dispensary, the mosque, 20 houses and LED street lighting in the village. Furthermore, the RPU provides Nimjat with Wi-Fi access and a LED TV.

The RPU benefits for local populations are multiple. Out of the 3,5 million population, only 100,000 Mauritanians have access to Internet, the lowest rate on the continent. Winch has partnered with Computer Aid in order to provide the local school with computers and access to the Internet. Thanks to LED lighting, children and villagers will be able to study at night and socialize.

The RPU will also have tremendous benefits with regards to health: the dispensary will be able to store vaccines and medicines in a fridge, LED lighting will improve safety at night, and Wi-Fi access will allow doctors and nurses to communicate with healthcare facilities in Nouakchott to better understand and treat medical conditions in the remote village. The RPU will also provide at least 50% of its electricity to promote local business and thus distinguishes it from the traditional solar kits, which are currently being sold in Africa.

Lastly, the economic impacts shall boost local development and energy independence. The installation, operation and maintenance of the RPU will create local jobs and enable transfer of skills to the local population. In addition, solar power will replace some of the coal and kerosene used for lighting and cooking with cheaper and cleaner energy, thus reducing population’s exposure to toxic fumes. Today in Africa $10.5 billion per year is spent on kerosene lighting alone.