European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Improving Renewables Penetration Through Plug and Play Microgrids

Project description

Powering microgrid systems for off-grid communities

Africa must increase its use of renewable energy sources to achieve its SDG7 targets for 2030. The EU-funded RePower project aims to highlight a modular and scalable plug-and-play microgrid system. This system is powered by a combination of photovoltaics and biomass combined heat and power, equipped with a battery energy storage system, and integrated with an intelligent energy management system. The project's objective is to offer tools, processes, and a roadmap for replicating this system in any location. The Solartainer, a containerised PV-BESS solution, will be the cornerstone of this system. It has already successfully provided power to over 25 420 customers in remote areas of Mali, Niger, and Chad. The overall aim is to power off-grid communities in Senegal, Niger, and Madagascar.


For Africa to meet its 2030 SDG7 targets and ambition of attaining energy-for-all by 2040 and climate neutrality by 2063, the proportion of renewables in the current energy mix needs to be dramatically improved through robust and effective technologies, sustainable business models, a skilled technical workforce and an enabling regulatory environment. RePower will contribute to these efforts by demonstrating and validating a modular and scalable plug and play (PnP) microgrid system based on photovoltaics (PV) and biomass combined heat and power (BCHP) augmented with a battery energy storage system (BESS) and an intelligent energy management system (EMS), and by providing tools, processes and a roadmap to replicate the installation of this modular plug-and-play microgrid system at any other location. The modular and scalable RePower microgrid system will build upon the Solartainer, an existing and containerised PV-BESS solution that has already been successfully piloted by project partner, AGT, in 21 locations empowering 25,420 customers in remote off-grid locations and providing 934 SMEs with power in Mali, Niger and Chad. The new Solartainer RePower combined with a unique BCHP solution will have the capacity and flexibility to provide distributed, affordable, reliable and stable electricity as well as heat and cooling to off-grid communities in Senegal, Niger and Madagascar. Compared to the average PV-based microgrids currently on the market for Africa, the RePower setup including BCHP will improve the renewable energy generation capacity of the existing plants by over 50% while also reducing the unit cost of electricity by about 60 % – 70 % allowing consumers to extend electricity usage to the productive use of energy (PUE), such as farming, water pumping, food processing, construction and other small-scale industries. The modularity of the system allows sizing to meet the demands any specific application or locality, thus matching energy supply with demand.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 105 281,25
8000 Aarhus C

See on map

Danmark Midtjylland Østjylland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 105 281,25

Participants (14)