Long-term advantages for health care “This ensures long and reliable power cycles, which is important for rural health centres delivering critical care. The implementation is complex but transformative, and our teams on the ground were able to provide extensive technical information to ensure they were installed properly.” RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Sierra Leone, devastated by Ebola with more than 14,000 cases reported between 2014 and 2016, and almost 4,000 lives lost, turns to renewable energy for its recovery efforts. Life-saving services delivered one phase at a time The batteries included in the project were OPzV 1500Ah – 2V, 6V and 12V. Funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and implemented by United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the Rural Renewable Energy Project represented a drive for clean energy access, together with the sustainable growth of the country’s energy capacity. The second phase widened access to electricity to houses, schools and businesses in 50 rural villages, by expanding the existing health centre solar power stations, and installing distribution networks throughout each village – creating dozens of independent mini-grids. This project aims to strengthen energy infrastructure in order to provide better services to local people, while also helping rural communities to be better prepared in the event of a future epidemic. Have you watched?Regulatory process delays scaling of mini-grids As a strategic energy storage provider, Systems Sunlight supplied more than 2,200 Sunlight battery cells towards a hybrid system of 90 minigrids powered with renewable energy, for the electrification of these 50 communities in Sierra Leone, and provided technical assistance to the EPC company regarding technical details about the batteries. The £34.5 million ($47,07 million) project was completed in several phases over a period of four years, with completion at the end of 2020. Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA It ensures that local health centres have a reliable power supply, meaning that in the evenings patients and medical staff have access to light. AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector During the Ebola outbreak, the lack of power in small towns and villages worsened the conditions in which medical professionals were trying to combat the disease. The first phase of the four-year project involved the installation of solar power at 54 community health centres across 12 districts of Sierra Leone – the benefits of which are already being felt – and was successfully completed in July 2017. Finance and Policy Have you read?SEforALL backs mini-grid deployment in Sierra Leone and Madagascar Women giving birth at night will no longer be required to do so in the dark. Deliveries to the centres often take place at night, and access to light ensures supplies can be sorted properly when they arrive, and kept in good condition. Have you read?$15m earmarked for clean energy generation in sub-Saharan Africa The project has also contributed to a more efficient working environment at the health centres, meaning more people receive the healthcare they need, and outreach to neighbouring communities to offer inoculations and related services are now much easier. UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon development Over 2,200 Sunlight battery cells for hybrid system at 90 minigrids were supplied. Source: Systems Sunlight TAGSBattery storageenergy accessmini-gridsoff-grid solutionsSierra Leone Previous articleNigeria: Shell completes the sale of its 30% interest in Oil Mining Lease 17Next articleAggreko starts to detail net-zero emissions plan for its customers Nicolette Pombo-van ZylAs the Editor of ESI Africa, my passion is on sustainability and placing African countries on the international stage. I take a keen interest in the trends shaping the power & water utility market along with the projects and local innovations making headline news. Watch my short weekly video on our YouTube channel ESIAfricaTV and speak with me on what has your attention. Sign up for the ESI Africa newsletter Systems Sunlight’s acting sales director, Dimitri Panagiotou, commented: “The innovative design of our batteries provides an outstanding performance for cyclic and hybrid installations. This is largely through the use of tubular positive plates, a GEL form of electrolyte, a unique sliding pole design and a special alloys composition offering a 60% depth of discharge (DoD) life cycle of up to 2500 cycles for 2V cells and 2000 cycles for the 6V and 12V blocks installed.” Generation BRICS As part of the Ebola recovery efforts, the Government of Sierra Leone launched the Rural Renewable Energy Project, which aimed to strengthen energy infrastructure in these areas, improving essential services for over 300,000 residents.