US-based power management company Eaton has agreed to supply electrical engineering services and power distribution equipment for the construction of a 5MW solar microgrid system in Annobon Province, Equatorial Guinea
Eaton would provide switchgear assemblies, circuit protection devices and power transformers with embedded communications capabilities to easily integrate with microgrid energy storage components.
According to officials at Eaton, the microgrid has enhanced battery storage and is designed to supply reliable and predictable power to meet the off-grid community’s energy demand. It will be the largest self-sufficient solar microgrid project in Africa, they added.
The US-based power management company was contracted by MAECI Solar to optimise electrical power distribution equipment for the 5MW project. MAECI is collaborating with Wise Power Systems to provide solar design, engineering and custom-made double glass modules with full microgrid system integration.
William Rawheiser, president of Wise Power Systems, said, “We are extremely excited to bring this solar microgrid solution to Annobon Island to help raise the quality of life for the people and bring world class decentralised electrical grid solutions to Equatorial Guinea and Africa. The Annobon Electrification Project will bring a much needed stable, reliable, and consistent power supply to the island, and enable the development of multiple industries, bringing valuable jobs and significantly raising the standard of living.”
Annobon Province relies on generators for the provision of electricity. Residents spend an average of 15 to 20 per cent of their income on supplemental power, said Eaton officials. The solar microgrid in development is engineered to eliminate this expense by providing clean, reliable and sustainable solar electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Frank Campbell, president of the electrical sector at Eaton, EMEA added that connecting a remote community to a conventional power grid is expensive, whereas a modern microgrid would serve as a model for bringing reliable and cost-effective electrical power.
The 5MW project is part of the West African nation’s National Economic Development Plan Horizon 2020, which aims to strengthen the economy of Equatorial Guinea.