GVE, Shaybis benefit from $1.2m IEEE’s sustainable energy grant for Africa

Two Nigerian renewable energy firms, Green Village Electricity (GVE) Projects, and Shaybis Nigeria, would take from about $1.2 million sustainable energy grant provided by Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) for projects in select African countries.

IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization that advances technology for humanity, announced in a statement that its IEEE Smart Village (ISV) has granted $1.2 million in new funds for selected sustainable energy projects with a potential life-changing impact on up to seven million people around the world.

It explained the ISV which is an IEEE Foundation Priority Initiative, is dedicated to promoting sustainable energy and access to educational and entrepreneurial opportunities in energy-impoverished locations around the world.

The funded projects, it noted are in Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, India, and Papua New Guinea, and would leverage technology to better the lives of the communities where the systems are located.

It listed GVE and Shaybis, as its beneficiaries from Nigeria, while Africa Development Promise, Uganda, Renewable Energy Innovators – Cameroon (REIc), PNG Community Transformation Center, Papua New Guinea, and Torchbearer Foundation dba Igniting Africa, Cameroon, are others from the select African countries.

Shakti Empowerment Solutions of India, was also selected by the IEEE to benefit from the ISV funding.

“This year’s projects include AC and DC solar powered micro-grids, a next generation portable battery kit that will provide lighting for extremely remote homes, local computer servers and an intra-net delivery system to enable a low-cost curriculum in the local schools, long range Wi-Fi that will allow some locations to tap into the world wide web, and one project will include a portable food press that will allow the villagers to process food for better year-round nutrition and be an income source for their families,” it explained.

According to it, previously funded ISV’s projects have directly impacted more than 70,000 people and proven its business model, which is based on community empowerment, education, and business ownership.

“Using the base of IEEE global volunteers, the ISV program brings together experienced engineers, educators, volunteers, and donors to provide initial funding to launch, sustain, and develop clean energy and to power advanced education systems.

“The goal is to empower communities to meet their own long-term needs. ISV is scaling its efforts to bring basic electrical services that help enable transformational opportunities and support community wellbeing – from homes to schools to clinics to businesses – such efforts are expected to benefit more than 50 million people by 2025,” it added.

It said the GVE will build on the success of IEEE Smart Village-funded pilot projects, to provide additional electrification projects in 11 local communities and foster the incubation of a projected 650 new businesses.

It explained in this regards, that: “A PAYGO (Pay-as-you-Go) metering system helps foster a successful business model. The power from the solar micro-grid will run a local grain mill, eliminating the 20km walk to nearest existing mill.

“Other benefits include improved education, improved rural health care, an increase in living standards and local productivity. GVE Projects is well established and this award is to help leverage new investment for growth to reach a million people in the next 3-4 years.”

For Shaybis, the IEEE stated that it would help it realise the hopes of Lajolo village getting electricity in the foreseeable future.

It said: “ISV is providing hope for the community in the form of an 8.5Kw solar micro-grid as a first pilot. Initial funding will power a school, irrigate gardens, and enable refrigeration for the first time at a local general store.”

“Discussions with the Kwara State University and the University of Ilorin are underway to use this village as a hands-on opportunity for the electrical engineering students to gain practical knowledge of real-world deployments,” it added.

It stated that this year’s recipients were selected from a pool of 30 applicants based on feasibility of their proposed projects, ability to leverage initial funding into a sustainable business plan, incorporation of educational programs, plan for growth to scale, and potential to impact one million people in a five-year timeframe after a successful pilot program.