Remote Villages in Suriname Forest Get 24-Hour Power with New Microgrid

June 13, 2024
Twelve remote villages in the Suriname forest now have access to uninterrupted power thanks to a new microgrid. When complete, the Suriname Village Microgrid Photovoltaic Project’s five microgrids will have a combined generation capacity of 5,314 MWh and power 34 villages.

Twelve remote villages in the Suriname forest now have access to uninterrupted power thanks to a new microgrid. The microgrid is the first to be handed over as part of the second phase of the Suriname Village Microgrid Photovoltaic Project.  

Suriname is a small and ethnically diverse country located on the Atlantic coast of South America, just north of Brazil. It is one of the top global producers of bauxite, a sedimentary rock that is the world’s primary source of aluminum.

While much of the country’s population has access to reliable electricity, thousands living in the country’s remote forest region, far from Suriname’s electric infrastructure, have power for just a few hours each day.

The Suriname Village Microgrid Photovoltaic Project aims to solve that problem by providing these villages with continuous power 24 hours a day.

Five microgrids to power 34 remote villages

The first phase of the project was initiated in 2019 when the Suriname government contracted with Power Construction Corporation of China (POWERCHINA), a Chinese state-owned electric power engineering and construction company, to design and build remote microgrid projects for two remote villages. Completed in 2020, these systems feature 650 kW of solar photovoltaics and 2.6 MWh of energy storage.

The second phase of the project, also to be completed by POWERCHINA, will see five additional microgrids built, providing uninterrupted power to 34 forest villages along the Suriname River.

The microgrids will “bring a more stable and reliable power supply to the covered villages, which is of great significance to improving the quality of life of villagers and promoting local economic development,” Chandrikapersad Santokhi, president of the Republic of Suriname, said in a statement.

The first site in phase two was recently handed over and powers 12 villages with more than 1,500 inhabitants. The microgrid is described as a “small power generation and distribution system” that includes solar, energy storage and diesel generation hybrid energy.

When complete, the five microgrids are expected to have a combined generation capacity of 5,314 MWh.

About the Author

Kathy Hitchens | Special Projects Editor

I work as a writer and special projects editor for Microgrid Knowledge. I have over 30 years of writing experience, working with a variety of companies in the renewable energy, electric vehicle and utility sector, as well as those in the entertainment, education, and financial industries. I have a BFA in Media Arts from the University of Arizona and a MBA from the University of Denver.

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