Case Study: Cape Verde

Regional RE framework

Cape Verde, as an ECOWAS member state, is mandated under the ECOWAS Regional Energy Policy (EREP) to ensure that there is increased use of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, small-scale hydro and bio-energy for grid electricity supply and the provision of access to energy services in rural areas.

 

EREP seeks to create a favourable environment for the private sector to use renewable energy as an engine for development in addition to stimulating social and economic development through job creation, productive use, business development and provision of social services.  The Monte Trigo micro-grid was established as a result of this effort. 

Hybrid Model

This micro-grid is set up as a mixed private/public-utility, in which the local private water company together with other local entities and the local municipality are directly responsible for the management, operation and maintenance (O&M) activities of the facility. Electricity tariff collection is based on fixed monthly rates related to the Energy Daily Allowance (EDA), which is the set maximum amount of power allocated for daily use by domestic or business consumers, established based on the recipient population’s payment capacity. This not only sustains O&M costs but also partially pays back the capital costs.

Multi-user solar micro-grid (MSG)

This facility, installed in the remote village of Monte Trigo on Santa Antao island in Cape Verde, is a multi-user solar micro-grid (MSG) supplying 60 end users with 24-hour energy supply. It uses a photovoltaic (PV) generator, a battery for energy storage, and electricity monitoring, control and power conversion equipment with a low voltage single phase 800-metre distribution grid. 

 

The system is a 27.3 kWp PV generator with an MPPT charge controller and is based on a double DC coupled bus 48V with a 370 kWh battery storage capacity in two battery banks. It has two dual inverters rated at 8kVA each that produce 230V, 50Hz AC for distribution. The MSG derives almost 100% of its power from PV with a 20 kVA diesel generator that works only as a backup.