French utility Engie has inaugurated its first mini-grid in Zambia. The mini-grid, developed by Engie PowerCorner, is located in the village of Chitandika, a small community of 378 households in the east of the country. Alongside the households, the grid will supply a rural health centre and two schools.
Engie PowerCorner has 13 mini-grids in operation or construction in Tanzania but aims to develop 2,000 by 2025. The utility is also present in Zambia through Fenix International, its solar home system provider, which has sold 70,000 systems in the country and 400,000 across Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and Benin. At utility-scale, Engie prequalified for the first round of the country's KfW-backed Global Energy Transfer Feed-in Tariff programme. Globally, Engie aims to provide 20m people with renewable, decentralised power by 2020.
Engie chief executive Isabelle Kocher said, “at Engie we believe that universal access to electricity is possible in the foreseeable future thanks to a smart combination of national grid extensions, mini-grids and solar home systems, depending on the local characteristics of energy demand.”
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