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ENGIE inaugurates a solar-powered mini-grid in Tanzania

Thanks to the PowerCorner project, which launched early in 2015, the Group now supplies electricity to Ketumbeine, a village that is home to 800 people. The installation of a mini-grid of solar panels, which will progressively be replicated throughout Africa, constitutes one of ENGIE’s key objectives, which is to provide rural populations with access to environmentally-friendly energy.

AThere are still 620 millions people in Africa today without access to electricity. In Tanzania, some 38 million people are without power. ENGIE has chosen this country to put into practice its PowerCorner project, instigated by ENGIE companies and employees. Consisting of photovoltaic panels with capacity of 16 kWp, a 45 KWh lithium-ion battery bank and a back-up genset, this mini-network serves to supply electricity to the village of Ketumbeine. 161 homes now enjoy clean energy without resorting to kerosene lamps, car batteries and power generators.

A reliable and durable energy service

This is an effective system which combines eco-friendly credentials* with a novel business model. All 50 of the PowerCorner clients today pay their connection charge using a payment app (Mobile Money System). An operator working in the village is responsible for managing the PowerCorner site. The customer then consumes energy using pre-paid smart meters. Residents can also purchase electrical appliances under favorable credit conditions.

Following the clear success of this trial in the Arusha region, ENGIE now plans to develop mini-grid solutions elsewhere in Tanzania as well as in other parts of Africa. The initiative reflects one of the Group’s strong commitments and meets Goal 7 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.”

* A program of mini-grids with 40,000 connections could avoid the emission of approx. 20,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

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