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Rural renewable energy project conducts installation training

 April 20, 2017 

UNOPS Sierra Leone is hosting training for selected installation companies, in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy, the President’s Recovery Priorities (PRP) programme and United Kingdom Government’s Department for International Development (DFID – also known as ‘UK Aid’).

The theoretical aspect of the training runs from 18th to 20th April at the Golden Tulip Hotel, followed by 14 days of on-the-job sessions in Petifu and Conakry Dee communities, in Port Loko District. ASACO, the supplier of the solar equipment, is providing the training facilitators and installation tools.

Participants are mainly Sierra Leonean engineers from Barefoot Women Solar Engineers Association (BWSEA), Frontier Business Solutions (FBS) and APTECH Africa Limited. Training contents include, photovoltaic (PV) system basics, types of solar systems, arrays and connections, project safety and guidance on using the installation checklists.

The objective of the training is to maximize accurate connection and functionality of the various parts, to enhance the timely and proper completion of the system. In line with the project objective this training will ensure the solar equipment are installed correctly and products warranty requirements are not violated.

The Sierra Leone Rural Renewable Energy Programme (RREP) initiative is to be implemented over 4 years, from October 2016 to October 2020. Half a million people over the next four years will benefit from at least 90 mini-grids powered with renewable energy. Initially, 50 communities will be electrified in 2017 using mini-grids operated by local entrepreneurs.

The overall outcome of the RREP is to increase rural renewable energy access through private sector involvement, and support institutional reforms on regulations and business model approaches.

Sustainable technical and financial solutions will be implemented to establish electrification of Community Healthcare Centres (CHCs) and mini-grids at village level, along with the technical assistance required to support the development of this renewable energy initiative.

The Ministry of Energy’s Rural Renewable Energy Project, funded by UK Aid, will benefit more than 500,000 people in Sierra Leone by using solar energy to tackle energy poverty in rural communities across the country.

UNOPS is implementing the Rural Renewable Energy Project in cooperation with the Republic of Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Energy and with funding from UK Aid. The overall goal of the project is to improve rural renewable energy access through private sector involvement.

The project will provide sustainable technical and financial solutions for delivering electricity to community healthcare centres and developing mini-grids in villages. It will also provide the technical assistance required to support the sustainable development of this off-grid renewable energy initiative.

Using an integrated approach to enhance energy security, the project will support business start-ups, reduce local pollution and improve the livelihoods and living conditions of local communities. Special attention will be paid to vulnerable groups, including women and young people.

Approximately 100,000 people in rural Sierra Leone will be connected to electricity, with a further 480,000 people indirectly benefitting from access to low-carbon electricity.