The IEEE Power and Energy Society is supporting Africa’s power access millennium goal through its recent Power Africa Conference. The conference, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, connected engineers and technology innovators with utility and generation companies, addressing issues from demand-side management to renewable resource grid integration in Africa.
NGO Sirona Cares was invited to give a workshop on its partnership with the IEEE Humanitarian Technology Challenge-Reliable Electricity Program, a program bringing solar-power electricity to Haiti’s rural communities. Under the program, six Haitian villages received mobile Sunblazer stations capable of charging small portable batteries for distribution to residences and businesses for local use, which can be recharged at the stations. The program creates a technical solution to a problem that can be adopted locally through a sustainable business model. Four African-based NGOs that attended the workshop agreed to work together to bring a similar program to Africa under a partnership called the “SunBlazer Manufacturers and Users Group.” Details are available here.
The conference also presented a series of tutorials and webinars, and included technical visits to Eskom’s national control centre, a 765 kV static compensator and a thermal power station (Eskom is a South African electricity public utility.). There was excellent attendance from local universities, the national utility, African utilities, and international companies. More information is available on the IEEE Community Solutions Initiative Blog.