Today, about 1.2 billion people in the world live without electricity. Another billion have unreliable power, and 2.8 billion people use coal, wood, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and cleaning.
Energy is critical for economic development and for powering basic social services like health care and education. Nigeria is well-known for its vulnerabilities to widespread grid outages and unstable power. With a population of close to 175 million, the alarming reality of mass genset dependency or the sheer lack of access to the grid mean that tens of millions are far from a clean and stable source of power.
Communities that depend on diesel generators to power schools and medical clinics are impacted by limited hours for educational and health opportunities, high costs for fuel, and greenhouse emissions. Lives may be lost when fuel scarcity to run their only source of power. When this occurs, it’s possible for hospitals to effectively stop running for over twelve hours. The expense is precious lives lost on life support or from the failure to receive medical treatment in time.
To bring this electrification initiative into fruition, African Energy brought on highly trained local Nigerian partners to lead this project with the Lagos State Electricity Board (LSEB) throughout 170 sites. The solution was carried out in two phases.
In phase one, African Energy supplied all products directly, while phase two was run through a bidding process directed by Crown Agents for DFID. Schneider Electric’s Conext family of solar and battery-based inverter/charger system with Conext Insight online monitoring was selected as the most reliable technology for this initiative.
It offers an integrated solution that is:
• Modular and flexible to adapt to various power sizes and applications.
• Highly robust to handle the harsh and demanding environmental conditions of Africa.
• Simply installed, monitored and serviced by local technicians without any overseas transport or extensive training.
• Built on the Schneider Electric EcoStruxure Platform, leveraging the power of the Internet of Things to provide remote, cloud-based monitoring and diagnosis capabilities preventing unnecessary travel to remote locations.
• Patented feature (US20100033124) for grid-connected solar and battery systems that maximizes the use of solar power while maintaining fully charged batteries, extending system life by as much as 2-3 additional years.
• Students are able to charge devices and personal night lights for at-home study so learning can continue into the evening.
• Science and computer labs that used to sit idle now operate fulltime during the school day, empowering students with new educational opportunities.
• Clinics no longer rely on limited diesel fuel resources to run dilapidated generators.
• Care is accessible 24 hours a day. Reliable electricity powers lights for night-time surgery; pumps supply fresh water to improve hygiene; and refrigeration preserves much-needed medicines and vaccines.
• By 2020, an estimated 190,000 pupils will benefit from improved access to educational tools and 4.7 million patients will receive better healthcare.