Aptech Africa recently installed a low and medium voltage mini-grid distribution network infrastructure for Sierra Leone. This project connected PV-Diesel power plants to 21 communities across 6 districts in the country.
Sierra Leone has a national electrification rate of only 26%, and this rate drops to 6% in rural areas. The demand and ability to pay for mini-grid electricity relies largely on productive use energy. Mini-grids can power rural agricultural productive use activities, as well as stimulate new businesses. It is the hope that increased community income will result in increased electricity use, thus creating a cycle of economic growth and increased electrification demand.
The mini-grid distribution network that Aptech has installed is made of steel utility poles with concrete foundations, ABC1 power lines for low and medium voltage, network grounding, surge protection and network switching provisions. Work on this project included the commissioning and verification of the distribution network.
The sources of electricity are PV-Diesel power plants with the capacity between 60 KW-100KW each. These mini-grids, combined with Aptech’s distribution network, supply electricity to approximately 23,000 households. This mass connection is a critical part of Sierra Leone’s Power Sector Master Plan.