Off-grid Solar For Madagascar

A cooperation deal between battery company Saft and energy management specialist Schneider Electric is to deliver a off-grid solar photovoltaic installation in rural Madagascar.

The new facility provides the village of Marovato on Madagascar’s east coast with energy for around six hours per day – mainly in the evenings – as an alternative to the kerosene and hand-gathered wood traditionally used by the 120 villagers.

The system has an output of 1.4 kW while the village currently uses only 490 W. The 24 V battery system, comprising 18 Saft nickel-based 920 Ah cells, stores energy generated in the daytime by 24 BP Solar photovoltaic panels with an average output of 7 kWh.

This project is the first step in Schneider Electric’s energy access programme – known as BipBop, for Business, Investment, People at the Bottom of the Pyramid – that aims to create a virtuous circle combining business, innovation and social responsibility.

 “After access to clean water, access to electricity is one of the top priorities for many people in new economies,” said Gilles Vermot Desroches, senior vice president for sustainable development at Schneider Electric. “Our BipBop programme brings together forward-thinking partners like Saft to create solutions that disadvantaged communities can take ownership of. By including not just efficient technologies, but also training, knowledge transfer and well-targeted funding, the programme provides a truly sustainable business model. I believe this project is the first step in what will be a very long and successful programme of providing the world’s poor with safe, reliable, efficient, productive and green electricity.”

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