West Africa—SparkMeter, a provider of smart metering technology and grid analytics for developing markets, has been selected as prime contractor by the United States Trade and Development Authority (USTDA) to deploy a comprehensive digital analytics platform for improving electricity grid operations for 100,000 people in West Africa.
SparkMeter will deploy the system of Sherlock Grids SAS, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) created in Benin by power: On a mini-grid operator and Akuo, a finance-based Independent Power Producer.
“By digitizing a mini-grid from its inception, utilities are able to more easily incorporate grid analytics into regular operations. Utilities can consistently measure, visualize and remotely operate their systems that will displace charcoal cookstoves, kerosene lamps and diesel generators with clean renewable energy.” Says Dan Schnitzler, CEO of SparkMeter.
“Receiving support from USTDA and power Africa for digitalization is an indication that the sector is realizing transformative benefits of smart grid management for decarbonizing electricity in emerging markets”
The project aims to improve the operations of dozens of mini0grids. SparkMeter’s participation in the grand will include consulting to develop geospatial models of utility assets and an electrical model of the grid. Cloud-based software will combine these models with SparkMeter’s data to produce advanced analytics on grid performance.
They are services going dip beyond traditional feasibility studies. SparkMeter will use system modeling to deliver analytics that provides utilities and other stakeholders with operational insights that explain the root causes of grid anomalies, plot trends, show impacts, and suggest improvements.
“In West Africa, households spend up to 30% of their incomes on batteries, gasoline, charcoal, candles, and kerosene to access basic fossil fuel energy services,” said Tistan Kochoyan, CEO at Pweron.
“Our work with Spark Meter and USTDA will help us dramatically reduce the use of fossil fuels in our territory through improved management of the electricity distribution and payments from customers on our grid.” He added