Partner Spotlight: Standard Microgrid

Close to 600 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa – about two-thirds of the population – live without grid electricity. This lack of modern energy services severely limits economic and educational opportunities, as well as inversely impacting day-to-day quality of life and health.

Standard Microgrid (SM), based Lusaka, Zambia is reinventing power with an innovative approach to distributed renewable energy services. They are engaged in off-grid renewable microgrid engineering, procurement, and construction in island communities, rural communities, and base transmission stations.

SM’s approach includes a proprietary grid management system tailored to provide basic power needs to the greatest number of people. Their proprietary grid management tools are designed to deliver reliable, modern alternating current (AC) energy services in harsh and remote environments. Fully contained within a 20′ shipping container, the 12kW micro power utility can be deployed in three weeks, with the capacity to deliver power to upwards of 150 homes.

Enabling seamless, remote demand side control of the grid is the Standard Microgrid Switch. Used in conjunction with the Microgrid Manager Mobile App, the Switch provides the ability to sell prepaid energy services, report energy use and misuse, and prevent overutilization of the grid. The entire system is fully automated and can be managed remotely from anywhere in the world. The proprietary grid management system that is tailored to provide basic power needs to the greatest number of people. Standard Microgrid is providing reliable electricity to the communities hence exciting growth opportunities for their partners and staff, and sustainable project returns.

Regina Tembo, Microgrid Manager

Regina Tembo, a 23-year old single mother from Mugurameno, Zambia works as a Standard Microgrid manager. She works with customers to develop and adjust plans, collect fees and perform basic maintenance.

‘Being a standard micro grid manager has increased my status in the community and enabled me to share knowledge with people in different countries’ – Regina Tembo

In addition to training Standard Microgrid managers like Regina, Standard Microgrid further invests in the community by providing free lighting and power for educational tablets to the school in Mugurameno. This is part of the Mugurameno Village Electrification project, funded by Empowered By Light, Zanaco and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to serve as a demonstration of what the future of energy services in Africa could look like. For Standard Microgrid, this community presence strengthened by the trust Regina builds with her customers is the foundation for a truly replicable and sustainable rural utility model.

Standard Microgrid is working to expand to 150 additional sites to provide affordable power to remote customers through financially viable mini grids. They are doing this in partnership with Power Africa through the Beyond the Grid for Zambia Fund and U.S Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and Infraco Africa. Theeir work of providing distribution of renewable energy services while establishing the commercial viability of innovative solar utilities is critical.