The 1MWp solar installation built by Enerdeal is located in Manono, a town of 20,000 inhabitants in Katanga in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Starting from Lubumbashi, in the best conditions during the dry season, it takes three days to reach the isolated town. The isolation will be more noticeable in the rainy season when the truck journey can take up to three weeks.
In Manono, since March 2018, a hospital, a school, an airport, businesses and homes are now connected to electricity. The 3,200 solar panels, which provide 1MWp of power, are connected to a battery system with a capacity of 3MWh, making this probably one of the largest stand-alone (off-grid) installations in Central Africa. Electrification in Africa is a major objective for improving living conditions and the development of regions. In the Katanga region, most of the inhabitants do not have access to electricity and if electricity is available, the network is not reliable; power cuts are common.
The autonomous installation solution using only solar energy coupled with batteries has many advantages compared to installations coupled with a diesel engine. The positive environmental impact is undeniable when diesel can be avoided. This is not the only advantage in this region where the price of diesel is very high, fluctuating and has a non-guaranteed supply due to the isolation. These elements have only reinforced the choice of investment for an energy entirely produced by solar panels.
The great challenges of the installation of the solar installation will have been the logistic management of the sending of the material in such an isolated place and the management of a building site to the day with limited means. Blocked roads, overturned trucks, convoy to protect, difficult climatic conditions, each day brought its challenges. Thanks to this experience, as rich humanly as technically, Enerdeal has acquired a reputation that opens the doors to international markets.
Attractiveness: The project was carried out with the help of the local workforce, which was trained from the very beginning of the installation and more specifically to ensure proper maintenance of the photovoltaic system. The specific training took place not only on site during the commissioning but also in Germany at the inverter supplier and the control system. A further training course was recently carried out to ensure proper maintenance, and after completion of the installation, remote supervision and telephone support were also provided to the local teams.
Wellness: Thanks to the solar installation, a school, a hospital, an airport, and many homes and businesses are now connected to electricity, making life much easier.
Social Cohesion: Preservation/improvement of the environment: The network is supplied only with renewable energy.
Responsible use of resources: The electrification of the site was achieved by guaranteeing a production of energy only linked to renewable energy without recourse to fossil fuels.
Our company, Eurafrican Power Solutions, commissioned Enerdeal to perform the technical engineering, component selection and on-site commissioning of an off-grid solar power plant. The plant located in Manono has a capacity of 1MWp and a storage capacity of 3MWh, making it probably one of the largest off-grid solar power plants in Africa. We confirm our full satisfaction with Enerdeal and are ready to recommend the company for any other project of this type.
Frédric Chaudoir, company director