Solar

Minigrid combines solar and digital to electrify Togo village

Solar energy is now providing the electricity for an entire village in Togo of 4000 people, powering streetlights, homes, schools and shops.

The electrification project called Tomorrow’s Connected Community has been delivered by offgrid solar specialist BBOXX, which is 50 per cent owned by EDF. Under the brand BBOXX avec EDF, the company supplied a microgrid developed by GE plus solar systems to power households and SMEs.

All of the services operate through BBOXX Pulse, a digital management platform which manages customer service and product maintenance using data and predictive analytics.

BBOXX co-founder and chief executive Mansoor Hamayun said: “Tomorrow’s Connected Community demonstrates our ability to supply electricity and other essential utilities to not only individual households, but to entire communities and businesses. By working with partners, we can truly deliver a decentralized and digitalized future in the developing world at scale. We have shown what can be possible and we look forward to rolling this “community of the future” out across other locations globally.

Marc Ably-Bidamon, Togo’s Energy Minister said: the Tomorrow’s Connected Community concept “demonstrates further collaboration between the digital economy, technology and energy sectors. Our vision and top priority is to provide access to electricity for all by 2030, while using environmentally friendly means. This is why we put a particular emphasis on solar energy. Thanks to the combination of different technology that include solar kits and mini-grids and the extension of the current network, our ambition is to increase the electrification rate of Togo to 50 per cent in 2020, 75 per cent in 2025 and 100 per cent by 2030.”

Valerie Levkov, EDF’s Senior Vice-President in charge of Africa, said “mini-grids represent a major achievement in accelerating access to electricity in Africa. We do believe it is replicable not only in Togo but more broadly across Africa and we are looking forward to further developing similar solutions elsewhere.”

BBOXX is headquartered in the UK and has offices in Rwanda, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Togo, and its manufacturing operations is in China.