On August 15, Tsumkwe, a small village in Northern Namibia was able to receive its first, around-the-clock electricity supply in three years thanks to a hybrid solar system completed by juwi Solar. The 200kW system, consisting of a 1MW battery storage unit and three integrated diesel generators, is claimed to be one of Africa’s largest off-grid solar systems and supplies Tsumkwe’s public buildings and 100 private households with electricity.
juwi Solar, in partnership with its regional partner Alternative Energy Systems, built the hybrid solar system in six weeks using 918 polycrystalline solar modules, which provide the town with its daytime energy needs. The three diesel generators, holdings a 630KVA capacity, have been built into the system with the ability to be turned on in the evenings or as a supplement to a low battery. The produced power is transferred via a transformer station to two 11kV mini-grids.
The Tsumkwe Energy Project was planned and managed by the Desert Research Foundation Namibia (DRFN) and will be operated by NamPower. The plant will be monitored by a juwi-designed control system that can direct the SMA battery inverters and the regulation of the generator.
“We have set a standard with this plant that we would like to transfer to other African projects,” says Fabian Jochem, head of juwi’ s off-grid power supply department.