International Microgrid News…Africa, the Philippines

June 7, 2014
In international microgrid news, Equatorial Guinea readies to build Africa’s largest self-sufficient solar grid…the Philippines eyes an island microgrid

Africa’s largest self-sufficient solar microgrid is being developed on an island off Equatorial Guinea in west central Africa by Management & Economics Consulting (MAECI), GE and Princeton Power Systems.

The government of Equatorial Guinea has selected the team to install the microgrid on Annobon Province, according to a recent GE news release.  The project will meet all of the island’s power demand.

Annobon has a population of about 5,000 residents. The islanders receive electricity up to only five hours per day and spend 15-20 percent of their income on supplemental power. The microgrid will eliminate this cost and provide reliable electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The 5-MW microgrid includes MAECI’s solar modules and system integration, GE’s energy storage technology and Princeton Power Systems’ BIGI-250 energy management platform.

“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. “We look forward to future global projects across the world to provide power to these areas to have hospitals, lighting and other basic human needs.”

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. Equatorial Guinea is the only Spanish speaking nation in Africa.

In other international microgrid news, Manila Electric (Meralco)  says it may test microgrid technology in Talim Island, part of the  Rizal province, according to an article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The utility, the Philippines largest, is considering as possible technical partners US-based Tesla Motors and AES, says the report. In addition to the 1 MW, microgrid, Meralco is looking at a possible LNG-based system for the island.

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About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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