Africa’s first utility-scale battery storage installation has been agreed upon this week thanks to the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and Obama’s Power Africa Initiative.
$1.1m was set aside for an upcoming solar energy storage facility in Kenya. The funds are being allocated to Xago Africa, which is known for the development of sustainable energy and infrastructure projects in Africa.
Xago Africa will be aided by Alevo, a North Carolina based grid-scale energy storage provider. The project will consist of a 40 MW solar farm facility to regulate energy distribution in Siaya County.
Xago and Alevo’s work are projected to increase energy efficiency in the region. Additional benefits of the USTDA project include the expansion of Kenya’s horizons in terms of energy storage capabilities and energy reliability.
The group has awarded Power Africa with a grant for the purposes of developing 25 solar microgrids throughout Nigeria, projected to produce 5MW of power for the residents of the region. Not only will these installations make great progress in bringing energy to the rural region, but they will also aid in collecting data for a study that will be conducted about energy for rural regions.
Consumers will pay for the use of the microgrid installations through the use of pay-as-you-go technology, an option that will enable them to become involved in the electrification process more quickly than they would have been able to before.
Solar energy in Sub-Sahara Africa is being viewed as an extremely lucrative opportunity for companies involved in the industry. There are about 660,000 African residents who lack access to electricity. Companies are attracted to the region as a major emerging player on the stage of the power market.
Private investors and African countries alike are poised to benefit from the energy storage projects being proposed through the capitalization on the large potential energy market that is present in Kenya, Nigeria, and nearby regions.
All of the parties involved, such as the USTDA, Power Africa Initiative, private investors, and African governments are looking to power the region of Sub-Sahara Africa with increased reliability, availability, and efficiency, while capitalizing on one of the largest emerging power markets in the world.