SOUTHERN SUDAN: Aptech Africa offers containerised solar mini-grids

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SOUTHERN SUDAN: Aptech Africa offers containerised solar mini-grids ©khuruzero/Shutterstock

Aptech Africa, a company specialising in the supply of water and off-grid systems, is entering the solar market in Southern Sudan. The company, based in Kampala, Uganda, chose the containerised systems for their easy and quick installation, with batteries for energy storage.

Aptech Africa, a company based in Kampala, Uganda, has decided to electrify areas not served by the electricity grid in Southern Sudan. It provides energy to populations through solar mini grids. And in a country where access roads are sometimes available, it has opted for containerised systems.

The company has teamed up with Aecom International, which carries out the field installations. Recently, Aptech Africa commissioned a mini-grid for Eye Radio, one of the few radio stations in Juba, the capital of Southern Sudan. The small power plant is composed of solar panels that produce 79 kWp. They are connected to a SustainSolar container, manufactured by the South African company Sustainable Power Generation (SustainPower). All of this is equipped with a 125 kWh lithium-ion storage system that provides energy after sunset. These containerised solar systems are widely used during disasters or in refugee camps.

Before the installation of this mini-grid, Eye Radio operated with a generator that required expenses, including the purchase of diesel. The Aptech Africa project is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Such containerised mini-grids have been observed in other countries on the continent. They are offered by Winch Energy, a company specialising in the supply of mini solar networks, based in London, England. It has also been chosen by the authorities in Sierra Leone to build small solar power plants in 24 localities through a public-private partnership (PPP). It will build a total of 24 small solar power plants. All the facilities will produce 1.2 MW. This project is part of the Rural Renewable Energy Project (RREP). It is a programme launched by the Government of Sierra Leone in 2017. It aims to provide up to 5 MW in rural communities through small grid-connected solar power plants, with private sector participation, under PPPs.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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