Project - Berbera

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Implementing Partner: Berbera Electrical Company (BEC)
Location: Berbera, Togdheer region
ESRES contribution: USD 2,463,879

Berbera contains the Somaliland’s main port and is the most important economic hub for trade. The Berbera corridor connects the harbour to the capital city Hargeisa and Ethiopia. Berbera port is used for inter-country trade between Somaliland and Ethiopia. Since 2016, a major investment by the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Dubai Port (DP) World of more than USD 400 million is boosting the economic development of the town. The investment includes the expected arrival of new industry and improvement of infrastructure. BEC is the result of a former Government-owned utility and private sector companies to form a fully privately-owned ESP. BEC provides reliable 24-hour power service to the town, who’s load is heavily seasonal due to the hot summers.

The ESRES Programme selected BEC through a competitive Call for Proposals to implement a hybrid mini-grid project in Berbera. The ESRES Programme awarded a Grant of USD 2,903,380 to BEC to invest in Solar PV system to complement the existing diesel generation and increase their connections through service drops. The original design of the ESRES project was to increase its generation capacity with 3 MWp Solar PV with a fuel saving system that would synchronize with the existing diesel generators.

During the ESRES project implementation, a 7 MWp PV plant funded by the UAE through the Abu Dhabi Fund was established in Berbera. This investment would complement the RE capacity of the town and in January 2021 the facility was handed over to the MoEM. It was decided that due to the incoming UAE investment, the ESRES-funded system provide better value for money if it included battery capacity. Hence in October 2020, BEC and their supplier DHybrid changed the system design to a 1 MWp PV system complimented with a 2 Mwh battery facility.

The ESRES-funded system was commissioned on 15th April 2021 and connected to the existing diesel generation of BEC. The ESRES-funded RE component will reduce diesel consumption by about 597,870 L/year resulting in decreased Carbon Dioxide emissions by 1,554 tonnes a year, this is in addition to the RE capacity that is already provided by the MoEM-plant of 7 MWp. Going forward, BEC and the MoEM are investigating options for optimizing the operations of the various systems in Berbera that are currently providing more affordable power to the people of the town.