24 towns and villages in northern Sierra Leone are to be electrified through solar mini-grids. This, as part of a public-private partnership project. It is part of the Rural Renewable Energy Project (RREP), supported by UK aid grant funding and implemented by United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
The first 12 mini-grids have already been installed and will be operational by June 2019 with over 6,000 people set to benefit from a direct connection to the mini-grids in the first phase of the project.
An additional 12 larger mini-grids will be installed and operated by Winch Energy starting Q4 2019, providing direct electricity connections to an additional 24,000 people.
The 24 localities have a combined population of over 40,000 people who will benefit from proximity to the mini-grids, estimated to have a final combined installed capacity of over 1.2 MW. When completed, RREP will be one of the largest off-grid projects of its kind in Africa to date.
The Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Energy has developed a strategy for active participation and involvement of the private sector in the operation and maintenance of solar mini-grid systems through Public-Private Partnership arrangements.
The local population will also benefit from Wi-Fi services to enhance communications and educational material. The project will also help provide robust infrastructure to the community health centres to assist with the country’s post-Ebola recovery.
Electricity to the health centres will be prioritised to ensure they have the services they need to provide adequate health services to the local populations, especially in the event of any future health emergencies.