Energicity Turns On Its First Electrification Project in Sierra Leone
Will provide 24-hour electricity to 100,000 people and businesses by Year End 2020
Energicity Corp, operating under the name Power Leone, turns on its first rural minigrid project in Petifu Junction, Port Loko District. Power Leone will launch 31 more minigrids over the next 2 years in Sierra Leone. By year end 2020, Power Leone will have completed deployment of all 31 projects and will be providing 1.5 MW of solar powered electricity to over 100,000 people in the Moyamba, Port Loko and Kambia districts. Power Leone is already providing free electricity to Community Health Centers across 23 communities.
Power Leone’s service in Sierra Leone is under a contract signed with the Ministry of Energy in January 2019. This contract is the culmination of the ambitious Rural Renewable Energy Project (RREP) supported by #UKAid grant funding and implemented by United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). Upon completion of the project, RREP with a total of 94 minigrids across the Sierra Leone will be one of the largest off-grid distributed minigrid projects in Africa.
Petifu Junction is the first village of the Lokomasama Chiefdom to receive electricity since its Lokomasama’s founding in 1908. Petifu Junction is a village of 2000 people who are primarily farmers of rice and palm oil. In addition to residential users, small holder farmers, 2 schools and a community health center, Petifu Junction is home to the Love Bridge Hospital a charitable hospital performing surgeries ranging from appendectomies to complex laparotomy. For most people living in the Northern part of Sierra Leone, Love Bridge Hospital, serves as a critical health care provider in cases of medical complications. Alfred Young, General Manager of Love Bridge pointed out numerous challenges the hospital is facing due to lack of electricity. “Each time we have to perform maintenance on our gensets, we have to close down operation and send some patients to other nearby health centers”, he said. He noted that having constant electricity supply will help them to expand their services.
According to Chief Obai Fath, section chief for Petifu Junction, the lack of electricity has derailed economic growth in the village, increased suffering and forcing most of the young people to abandon the community to seek sustainable futures elsewhere. Women and children are the most affected by the lack of
electricity. “Our women travel to distant places to buy ice-block for them to carry out their local businesses, he said. “Despite the improvements in technology, our community continue to be in a deplorable state with high rates of health complications, crimes and profound hardships, he continued. Having electricity will improve all aspects of our lives”.
UK AID project leader Tom Ratsakatika says “UK Aid is proud to fund clean, reliable energy infrastructure in 98 communities across Sierra Leone. We look forward to continuing partnering with the Government of Sierra Leone to support a conductive business environment for off-grid energy investments.”
There are over 600 million people in Sub Saharan Africa living in communities like Petifu Junction. Minigrids are the lowest cost solution to provide electricity for at least 100 million of them. With electricity provided by minigrids, people can have electricity to power health care, including ultrasounds and vaccine refrigerators, power agriculture – including irrigation, agro-processing and cold storage, and to power economic development.
Nicole Poindexter CEO of Energicity Corp and Power Leone reiterated the company’s commitment in providing electricity. “We at Power Leone are pleased to be able to bring affordable, reliable electricity to tens of thousands of people in rural Sierra Leone. From returning light to Bauya to providing reliable power for surgeries in Kambia District, to providing electricity and ice making to fishermen to enable fishermen to double their incomes in Port Loko, we are certain that the power we bring will transform the lives of Sierra Leoneans today and for generations to come.”
Energicity Corp is a developer and operator of offgrid minigrids serving rural communities with subsidiaries in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria operating under the names Black Star Energy Ltd, Power Leone, Atanya Solar respectively. Energicity provides affordable, reliable electricity that is scalable to every household and commercial need. Energicity was a 2018 participant in the Ghana Climate Innovation Center, and one of the winners of the EDF Pulse Africa Prize in 2018.
Energicity’s work was described by environmentalist and author Bill McKibben, in his recent book Falter : “To wander through these newly electrified villages is to understand an awful lot about why the twentieth century was so amazing: its delayed arrival here lets one sense what it was like in America in the 1930s, as rural electrification rolled across the countryside; or in China in the 1990s. But to imagine power arriving without pollution is a nice twist: These communities in rural Ghana aren’t getting the oldest, cheapest technology. They’re getting the newest, cheapest technology, so new and so cheap that families who currently make three dollars a day can afford it. “
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For any enquiries, please contact Power Leone through the following:
Email: Nicole Poindexter [email protected] or
Call- +23279781781/ +23230781781