South Sudan - Scatec Solar a Norwegian company is set to help the International Organization for Migration (IOM) harness solar energy to power a substantial part of its on-going joint humanitarian operations in Malakal, South Sudan, in the first quarter of 2020.
Scatec Solar, which develops, builds and owns solar power plants in emerging markets where the impact potential for solar power is high, picked South Sudan as one of the first locations to pilot projects in humanitarian settings.
The company also has a presence in other African countries including Egypt, Mozambique, Rwanda and South Africa.
“We see that one of the challenges in Africa is that 250 gigawatts of diesel-run generators affect the environment, tend to be inefficient and very costly to run. This is why we believe this project can make a difference in South Sudan,” said Frédéric Grosse, Senior Vice President of Scatec Solar on a recent site visit to Malakal.
UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has provided funding to IOM to invest in the initial hardware and installation costs. After installation IOM will then lease the batteries and solar panels for an annual fee for the duration of its operations in Malakal.
Within the next few months, the IOM-managed Humanitarian Hub will see Scatec Solar installing a solar plant comprising of 1,900 solar panels and a generation capacity of 700-kilowatts of power. The plant will also have energy storage and help the Humanitarian Hub reduce its diesel consumption by between 80 to 90 percent.
The solar plant will provide electricity to nearly 300 humanitarian workers who provide services to nearly 30,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the nearby Protection of Civilians (PoC) site.
“Displacement sites can at times transform into villages, so making an investment to have sustainable energy in these locations with hot, sunny environments makes a lot of sense. Furthermore, the equipment can also be relocated or handed over to communities in areas of return,” said Omar Patan, IOM Project Officer for the Humanitarian Hub.
Besides benefitting the humanitarian workers in the short-term, the solar plant will in future help people living in the PoC site harness the benefits of solar should they decide to return home.
This Scatec Solar collaboration will be the second solar project IOM operates in Malakal. The organization also uses solar power to pump and distribute 500,000 litres of water daily to meet the water needs of PoC and Humanitarian Hub residents.