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MAECI, GE and Princeton Power Systems collaborate on large African microgrid project

5W solar installation to supply electricity for 100 per cent of Annobon Province’s current demand.

The government of Equatorial Guinea has selected MAECI Solar, a division of Management and Economic Consulting, Inc., in collaboration with GE Power & Water and Princeton Power Systems, Inc., 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 5-MW solar modules and system integration by MAECI, an energy management system and controls from Princeton Power Systems and energy storage from GE. The island-wide microgrid -- the largest self-sufficient solar project on the continent of Africa, according to MAECI -- will provide reliable, predictable power, supply enough electricity to handle the whole of the island’s current energy demand.

“MAECI is fortunate to have witnessed firsthand the development of Equatorial Guinea over the past few years," said Chris Massaro, senior vice president, MAECI. "We are extremely excited to bring this solar microgrid solution to Annobon Island as well as support President Obiang Nguema's vision to raise the quality of life for the people and bring economic diversification to Equatorial Guinea. This project brings both."

According to MAECI, the Annobon Electrification Project will serve as the platform for economic growth on the island by bringing a much-needed power supply that will enable the development of multiple industries. The project will also add 700 to 1,000 direct and indirect jobs to Annobon Island, significantly raising the standard of living in the process.

Power to the people

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 15-20 per cent 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.

“We’re excited to be a part of this historic project for Annobon Province and Equatorial Guinea,” said 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. This is an ideal technology for microgrids like Annobon Island.”

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. Princeton Power Systems has extensive prior experience working with GE’s energy storage team. GE’s batteries, in addition to providing superior high temperature performance and improved safety, offer environmental responsibility with non-toxic and recyclable materials and worldwide support.

 

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Energy efficiency  •  Energy infrastructure  •  Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity

 

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