Africa’s Largest Self-Sufficient Solar Microgrid Project Built by MAECI, GE and Princeton Power Systems

published: 2014-06-06 11:04 | editor: | category: News

The government of Equatorial Guinea has selected MAECI Solar, a division of Management and Economic Consulting, Inc., in collaboration with GE Power & Water and Princeton Power Systems, Inc., to install a 5MW solar microgrid system on Annobon Province, an island off Equatorial Guinea in west central Africa. The solar microgrid will feature 5-MW solar modules and system integration by MAECI, an energy management system and controls from Princeton Power Systems and energy storage from GE. The island-wide microgrid will provide reliable, predictable power, supply enough electricity to handle 100 percent of the island’s current energy demand and be the largest self-sufficient solar project on the continent of Africa.

“MAECI is fortunate to have witnessed firsthand the development of Equatorial Guinea over the past few years," said Chris Massaro, senior vice president, MAECI. "We are excited to bring this solar microgrid solution to Annobon Island as well as support President Obiang Nguema's vision to raise the quality of life for the people and bring economic diversification to Equatorial Guinea. The Annobon Electrification Project will be the platform for economic growth on the island by bringing a much needed power supply that will enable the development of multiple industries, add 700 to 1,000 direct and indirect jobs to Annobon Island and significantly raise the standard of living.”

Annobon Province has a population of approximately 5,000 residents. Today, the residents have reliable electricity for up to five hours per day and spend an average of 15-20% of their income on supplemental power. The solar microgrid in development will eliminate this expense entirely and provide reliable electricity all the day. The project is a part of Equatorial Guinea’s National Economic Development Plan Horizon 2020, which aims to make Equatorial Guinea an “emerging economy” and accelerate its development and democratization by 2020.

“GE’s energy storage technology will help enable reliable, predictable power for the residents of Annobon through balancing the real-time supply and demand of solar and withstanding extreme heat environments without the need for air conditioning. This is an ideal technology for microgrids like Annobon Island,” said Jeff Wyatt, general manager of GE’s solar and energy storage business.

The Annobon microgrid is enabled by the Princeton Power Systems’ BIGI-250 energy management platform. Princeton Power Systems has extensive prior experience working with GE’s energy storage team. GE’s batteries, in addition to providing superior high temperature performance and improved safety, offer environmental responsibility with non-toxic and recyclable materials and worldwide support.

“Today, over 1 billion people are without power. We are taking our experience in microgrids from Alcatraz Island, the U.S. Department of Defense and private sector customers to now apply it to improving quality of life for people in rural areas where grid power does not exist or is not reliable,” said Ken McCauley, president and CEO, Princeton Power Systems.

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