15 of November 2018

Rural Electrification through Solar Mini-grid in Contuboel

In Guinea-Bissau only 2.6% of the population has access to constant electricity and 5.7% has access to electricity at irregular periods. Reliable access to electricity is a basic precondition to improve people’s lives, health and education, and enables local economy to growth.

After a feasibility study, the Foundation Rural Energy Services (FRES) implemented a PV mini-grid in the village of Contuboel, in Bafatá region, in 2017. Financed by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the European Union, the capacity of the plant is 100 kW, with an estimated production of 200 MWh/annum.

The implemented technical solution consists of 12 inverters for 4 battery banks with 24 batteries each and a total capacity of 500 kWh as well as multi-clusters extendable to up to 36 inverters. The system produces 100% renewable electricity and does not have diesel generators as a backup, it supplies electricity to its clients during 14 hours per day (10 a.m. to midnight).

With regard to the management model of the plant, the system is run by FRES which employs a team on-site in Contuboel, in order to ensure functioning and maintenance operation. Additional to the technical service, the customer support service (energy store) is also located at the plant.

With this initiative, FRES established a solar mini-grid network in the village of Contuboel, Guinea-Bissau providing access to electricity for 440 households, businesses and community institutions thus supporting productive-use activities and allowing the socio-economic development of the community. Thus, making it possible to refrigerate vaccines in the health centers, improve irrigation systems, preserve food with cold storage, provide evening classes and to create and expand businesses.

More information about the project here.