The government of Equatorial Guinea has selected MAECI Solar, a division of Management and Economic Consulting, in collaboration with GE Power & Water and Princeton Power Systems, to install a 5-MW solar microgrid system on Annobon Province, an island off Equatorial Guinea in west central Africa.
The solar microgrid will feature 5MW solar modules and system integration by MAECI, an energy management system, 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% 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,” says Chris Massaro, senior vice president, MAECI. “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 to 20% of their income on supplemental power. The solar microgrid in development will eliminate this expense entirely and provide reliable electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 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.
“This is an ideal technology for microgrids like Annobon Island,”says Jeff Wyatt, general manager of GE’s solar and energy storage business. “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.”
The Annobon microgrid is enabled by the Princeton Power Systems’ BIGI-250 energy management platform, the world’s first three-port industrial-scale solar energy management system, with UL listing and thousands of operating hours in commercial applications since 2012.
“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,” says 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.”
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