EG20 202

There are an estimated 640,000 off-grid telecom towers in the world. Global off-grid power traditionally provided by diesel gensets is becoming uneconomic due to ever increasing fuel costs, high maintenance and leads to a significant amount of carbon emissions.  Telecommunication operators (Orange, MTN, Safaricom, etc.) are now trying to retrofit their off-grid towers to renewables solution: PV generation with storage is now a third of the cost of diesel in many off grid locations and is at or below grid parity in many countries. However this is proving challenging: although the cost of PV panels has halved since 2008, short life high maintenance conventional batteries has so far slowed renewable energy uptake in the telecom industry. The prime objective of this project is to develop a 100% off-grid renewable power system (All Solar Telecommunication System – ASTS) thanks to the use of an extra-long duration Vanadium Redox Flow Battery (VRFB).  Significant challenges arise as loads from the PV generation and the battery need to be optimized in order to provide 100% firm renewable power to the telecom tower.

Project overview