Eaton to provide electrical equipment for microgrid in Equatorial Guinea

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

Annobon-EG-micrgridAnnobon Province is located in Equatorial Guinea, and relies on off-grid electricity sources such as generators. (Image source: Eaton)

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.

Eaton Helps Power Africa’s Largest Microgrid Project

5-Megawatt Solar Microgrid to Supply Electricity for Equatorial Guinea’s Annobon Province, Advance Regional Economic Development

PITTSBURGH, PA — Power management company Eaton today announced it is providing electrical engineering services and power distribution equipment for the construction of a 5-megawatt (MW) solar microgrid system in Annobon Province, an island off Equatorial Guinea in West Central Africa. The microgrid has 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.

The project is a part of Equatorial Guinea’s National Economic Development Plan Horizon 2020, which aims to strengthen Equatorial Guinea’s economy and accelerate its development through the implementation of world-class electrical infrastructure. Eaton was contracted to optimize the electrical power distribution equipment for the project by MAECI Solar, a division of Management and Economics Consulting. MAECI is collaborating with Wise Power Systems International to provide solar design, engineering and custom manufacturing of double glass modules and racking with full microgrid system integration for the Annobon Electrification Project.

“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 decentralized electrical grid solutions to Equatorial Guinea and Africa,” said William Rawheiser, president of Wise Power Systems International. “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.”

The Annobon Province currently relies on generators for periods of reliable electricity up to five hours per day. Residents spend an average of 15 to 20 percent of their income on supplemental power. The solar microgrid in development is engineered to eliminate this expense by providing clean, reliable and sustainable solar electricity24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Connecting a remote community to the conventional power grid is expensive and can take years,” Frank Campbell, president, Electrical Sector, EMEA, Eaton. “The modern microgrid being applied in the Annobon Province will serve as a model for bringing reliable and cost-effective electrical power to other remote communities, helping to advance their economies and quality of life.”

Eaton is providing switchgear assemblies, circuit protection devices and power transformers to support reliable power distribution across the island. The Eaton equipment includes embedded communications capabilities to easily integrate with microgrid energy storage components and intelligently manage demand to support an adaptable, secure and responsive infrastructure. To further enhance system reliability, safety and security, Eaton’s engineering experts are contracted to provide support ranging from installation to commissioning and system testing of Eaton’s equipment.

MAECI is an international consulting and project implementation firm that has formed very successful project partnerships, both as lead firm and as sub-consultant, with government ministries and departments, universities and colleges, non-governmental organizations and private sector companies more specifically in developing and emerging countries with strong emphasis in Western Central Africa and completed projects totaling in excess of $1 billion. To learn more, visit www.maeci.org.

Wise Power Systems International is a full service supplier of wind and solar power installations located in Wilmington, Delaware, serving customers in the USA and internationally. The objective of Wise Power Systems is to promote the economic and environmental benefits of wind and solar power through the construction of quality systems customized to meet energy needs and budgets. To learn more, visit www.solarandwind.net.

Eaton’s electrical business is a global leader with expertise in power distribution and circuit protection;backup power protection; control and automation; lighting and security; structural solutions and wiring devices; solutions for harsh and hazardous environments; and engineering services. Eaton is positioned through its global solutions to answer today’s most critical electrical power management challenges.

Eaton is a power management company with 2013 sales of $22.0 billion. Eaton provides energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton has approximately 103,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, visit www.eaton.com.

S Navy tests new microgrid applications for civilian and defence markets using vanadium-flow battery technology

A Smart Microgrid project hosted by the US Navy and sponsored by the California Energy Commission (CEC) will use vanadium-flow battery technology developed by Imergy Power Systems, a major energy storage systems developer. The project, a microgrid/energy storage demonstration combined with a solar PV installation, will take place at US Navy’s Mobile Utilities Support Equipment (MUSE) Facility in Port Hueneme, California.

The project is part of a wider attempt by the Navy and civilian authorities to develop applications and use-case scenarios to optimize power consumption at military bases, college campuses, industrial parks and other situations. The US Navy and military have emerged as world leaders in development of microgrids and other advanced energy technologies. Microgrids at military bases could help the military lower energy costs, expand their use of renewable energy, and reduce their dependence on diesel and grid connectivity for mission critical assignments.

According to Imergy, three ESP30 series vanadium-based flow batteries will be incorporated into the project, which will also feature a 50 kW PV solar panel system and GELI’s Energy Operating System (EOS) to automate the multiple applications. The ESP30 series has a capacity of up to 50 kilowatts (kW) and can store up to 200 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity.

Microgrids are not necessarily only suyitable for small-scale projects. Earlier this year, GE announced a contract win to provide the government of Equatorial Guinea with a 5MW solar microgrid. The project, which will be built jointly with MAECI Solar and Princeton Power Systems, represents the largest self-sufficient solar power system in Africa. This initiative comes under the aegis of Equatorial Guinea’s “National Economic Development Plan Horizon 2020,” which aims to put the country on the “emerging market map” by 2020.

Microgrid projects have been developed across rural areas South America, Africa, Australia and beyond. Because of a sutained effort to develop its small-scale power grid infrastructure, Alaska has emerged as a global leader in microgrid development, particularly in wind-diesel generation.

The market for energy storage is growing rapidly. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has mandated that the state’s three largest investor-owned utilities add a minimum of 1.3 gigwatts (GW) of energy storage of energy storage infrastructure by the end of the decade. Worldwide revenue from deployments of microgrids is expected to grow to $25.28 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 17.36% during 2014 to 2022.