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Zenna - Belize

Proof of concept: Smart Solar Off-Grid

 

Contract: 2015.09
Photovoltaics

Proof of concept: Smart Solar Off-Grid for la Gracia

Project Type :

Pilot Project

 

Technology :

Photovoltaics

Country :

Belize

 

Project Status :

Completed

Project Start :

August 2016

 

End of Project :

July 2018

Partners :

ZENNA AG, Murg, www.zenna.ch, Lukas Küffer

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© ZENNA

Swiss Contribution

ZENNA is a consulting company specialized in photovoltaics and has over 10 years of experience. ZENNA will develop and implement a small island network in cooperation with the ZHWA experts. For this project, ZENNA is supported by SESB – Solar Energy Solutions Belize, zhaw Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften (CH), cdw Stiftungsverbund (DE)Ministry of energy (BZ), ROTARY International, Coin Invest Trust (LI), LIPPUNER EMT (CH), Trama Tecno Ambiental (ES), HOPPECKE Batterien (DE), SMA Solar Technology (DE).

Description

Belize is located in the southeastern part of the Yucatán peninsula, bordering on Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west. Around 10,000 inhabitants in Belize’s rural areas have no access to the electricity grid.

Within the REPIC project’s framework, a stand-alone network shall be built in the La Gracia municipality, comprised of 45 households. This autonomous network is powered by a 12 kW photovoltaic system with battery storage and a back-up gas generator.

A part of this REPIC Project is to develop a resilient business model, which shall serve as a basis for the regional multiplication of such small stand-alone networks.

Results

In mid-November 2016, the island grid was completed and put into operation. In 2017, the mini-grid was officially inaugurated, in the presence of government and community representatives. Following the successful pilot phase’s completion, the MESTPU (Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities Belize) has taken over the island grid.

Impacts

The 290 villagers, especially the women, have been greatly involved in this project and now benefit from access to a reliable power supply. The mini-grid’s operation and technical maintenance generates local jobs. Additionally, there are prospects for the realization of further plants. The Proof of Concept potentially opens up access to new international donors for the Ministry of Public Services, Energy and Public Utilities (MPSE-PU). Three other villages will be electrified during the next step.

Documentation

The Final Report, "Proof of Concept: Smart Solar Off-Grid" as well as the “Zenna Newsletters” are available at www.repic.ch. In addition, videos of the project are available at https://vimeo.com/zenna/repic.