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The Beninese Agency for Rural Electrification and Energy Management (ABERME) has granted French group Engie’s subsidiary, Engie PowerCorner, a license to install solar mini-grids in Dohouè in southern Benin. The containerized mini-grid system is expected to be powerful enough to provide an electricity supply for 1,500 people.
The electrification project will be co-financed by Engie PowerCorner with US Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), through its Millennium Challenge Account Benin II (MCA-Benin II) program. This bilateral development fund will provide the financing facility for Engie’s green mini-grids under the Off Grid Clean Energy Facility (OCEF).
Engie PowerCorner is strengthening its position in Africa and already installed its containerized solar mini-grids systems in the rural areas of several African countries. The project in Dohouè is the first of a series of stand-alone solar systems that will be installed in Benin in the coming months. The company has planned to build and operate 22 containerized solar mini-grids in rural areas of the country by 2023. These installations will have a total capacity of 2.4 MWp and can provide electricity to 30,000 people in three departments of Benin.
This modular mini-grid system consists of solar panels covering a container. The shipping container comes with inverters and batteries for storing electricity that can provide on-demand redistribution after sunset or in bad weather.
Gillian-Alexandre Huart, the CEO of Engie Energy Acces said, “This electrification project should give a boost to the economic development of the local community. It also means much-needed support for women, through the realization of income-generating activities for more empowerment and financial inclusion.”.
The facility set up by MCA-Benin II aims to increase electricity access for the unserved population in rural and peri-urban areas of Benin by bringing down the barriers to investment in the off-grid energy sector. Engie PowerCorner’s containerized mini-grids system will emerge at the center of this electrification project which is already providing electricity to thousands of households and hundreds of microenterprises and community infrastructures in several African villages.
Engie’s smart investments in national grid extension, solar home systems, and mini-grids are in line with the goal of United Nations Sustainable Development to achieve universal electrification by 2030.