Sustain Extended solar system on its way to Uganda: one of the first milestone projects of the Utility 2.0 coalition

In mid-September 2020, another Sustain Extended turn-key solar solution left SustainSolar’s workshop in  Cape Town, South Africa to its mini-grid partner Equatorial Power in Uganda.

Packed in a 40 foot container and equipped with  40 kW of solar PV capacity with SMA inverters and almost 90kWh of lithium-ion battery storage from Solar MD , the solar system forms part of one of the first milestones of the “Utility 2.0” project in Mukono district, Uganda,  and will supply clean, stable electricity to households and businesses.

The “Utility 2.0” consortium brings together Uganda’s largest utility, Umeme, several leading distributed renewable companies, appliance financing, and research institutions (Power for All, Equatorial Power, East African Power, EnerGrow, Nxt Grid, amongst others) to demonstrate the potential for integrated energy in the East African country and beyond. The project is funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, Power for All, Equatorial Power and the Rural Electrification Agency of Uganda.

Launched in May 2019, the Utility 2.0 project investigates potential opportunities for collaboration between the main utility and Distributed Renewable Energy (DRE) companies in the drive for energy access acceleration, demand stimulation, and grid performance optimization in sub-Saharan Africa. In doing so, the project also highlights the benefits of integrating centralized and decentralized energy by demonstrating how:

  • Customer-Centric integrated planning and connecting can reduce connection cost, accelerate connections, and improve affordability;
  • Product and business model innovation can drive demand growth for all energy companies’ bottom lines and customer benefits.

Standardised, containerized solar power generation systems from SustainSolar offer the flexibility and modularity through their turn-key, rapid deployment approach that  reduce cost and complexity for this innovative model.  

Bringing reliable, low carbon electricity to Equatorial Power’s mini-industrial park and the previously unconnected village in Uganda, the project has the potential for significant socio-economic benefits and will certainly enable new businesses and ventures in the years to come.