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Published On: Tue, Nov 8th, 2016

The Commemoration Ceremony marking the Awarding of Somaliland Electricity Mini Grids Projects Contracts

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img_0174By Goth Mohamed Goth

The Republic of Somaliland has one of the highest costs of electricity in the world and access to affordable, reliable electricity is a significant barrier to growth.

The Energy Security and Resource Efficiency in Somaliland (ESRES) Programme aims to strengthen energy security and access in Somaliland through diversifying Somaliland’s energy sources with the introduction of a renewable component.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) governing the implementation of the Energy Security and Resource Efficiency in Somaliland (ESRES) Programme was signed in July 2015 between the Government of Somaliland (GoSL) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).

The ESRES Programme governance structure includes a Joint Steering Committee (JSC). The day-to-day implementation of the ESRES Programme is entrusted to an external Programme Manager. The Programme Manager also acts as the Secretariat of the Joint Steering Committee.

The ESRES Programme will be implemented in two phases:

  • Phase 1 (30 months): pilot-phase;
  • Phase 2 (24 months): expansion-phase.

Phase 1 of the Programme exists of three components:

  • Technical assistance to the MoEM for the development of an appropriate policy and regulatory framework for the sector;
  • Pilot the development and implementation of hybrid mini-grids;
  • Create a Renewable Energy Fund towards the end of Phase 1.

 

Hon.  Hussein Abdi Dualeh speaking during the awarding of contracts to the six DFID funded electrical power hybrid mini-grids contracts that will be implemented by Somaliland ESPs in six towns/cities in five regions of the six regions countrywide said , “ The Ministry of Energy & Minerals (MOEM) and ESRES is proud to commemorate the award of six DFID funded electrical power hybrid mini-grids contracts that will be implemented by Somaliland ESPs in six towns/cities in five regions of the country. This event is the culmination of a long collaborative effort between DFID and MOEM to introduce renewable energy-based hybrid mini-grid systems to Somaliland ESPs. This project is in line with President Silanyo’ s government policy to alleviate the high cost of electricity in the country and to encourage the use of renewable energy power to ultimately get more affordable, safe, reliable electricity for the people of Somaliland.

The program known as the Energy Security and Resource Efficiency in Somaliland (ESRES) – Phase1 was first envisioned by DFID and MOEM nearly two years ago when MoEM first met DFID program officers in Hargeisa and convinced DFID to invest in hybrid mini-grids projects in collaboration with MoEM and Somaliland ESPs.

The project is a pilot programme that is designed to promote Renewable Energy development in Somaliland. The promotion of Renewable Energy through hybrid mini-grids is based on the premise that hybrid systems have advantages over single source systems.The experiences gained during this pilot phase will encourage DFID and MOEM and other stake holders on the potential for developing more hybrid mini-grid projects in this country. If the project proves successful,it will lead to a second bigger Phase2 ESRES program and the establishment of a Renewable Energy Fund for Somaliland that can fund bigger energy projects in the future.

2 – Selection and evaluation process

The selection of viable project ideas and Implementing Partners for the development and implementation of this hybrid mini-grids followed a competitive process through a Call for Proposals and followed a two-stage process (concept note, full proposal).

In the first instance, Applicants were invited to submit Concept Notes. The ESRES Programme Manager, Mott McDonald, received 23 applications. Following an evaluation, the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) comprised of Program Manager and MOEM members selected 12 Applicants for the second stage that presented viable projects and met the minimum technical and financial capacity to proceed to the second phase.

Twelve (12) full Technical and Financial proposals were received in the second stage of the competition. The evaluation of these proposals resulted in the Joint Steering Committee provisionally selecting six (6) proposals pending final clarifications and due diligence. After obtaining final clarifications from the six proposers by the ESRES Program Manager, the JSC approved the following six projects for DFID funding.

3 – Details of awarded Applicants (Implementing Partners):

 

No Name of Applicant Project title Location Grant award AdditionalCapacity (KW) Additional Connections
1 Badhan Electricity Company Badhan Hybrid Mini-grid Project Badhan, Sanaag USD 375,965 1,100 1,020
2 Beder Electricity Company Sheikh Town 130kW (AC) Mini-grid Solar-Diesel Hybrid Power Station Sheikh, Saaxil USD 391,868.45 410 1,256
6 Sompower (former Alel Electricity Company) Sompower, Gabiley Hybrid Mini-grid Project Gabiley, Maroodijeeh USD 460,400 860 707
8 HECO HECO, Burao Extension of Solar Project Burao, Togdheer USD 693,823 500 4,222
10 Telesom Electricity Company Buhodle Town Solar-Diesel Hybrid Mini-grid Pilot Buhodle, Togdheer USD 391,829 128 1,662
21 Aloog Electricity Company Aloog, Borama Hybrid Mini-grid Project Borama, Awdal USD 625,403 320 1,440
Total USD 2,939,288 3,318 10,307

Other comments

This is a new era for Somaliland and its people. Today with the assistance of DFID funding andin collaboration with MOEM, the Renewable Energy Sector is taking a great leap forward. DFID is providing approximately$2.9 million in developing Hybrid Mini-grid pilot projects around these six towns/cities.In doing so, this project will add a total 3,318 KW of additional electric generation capacity to these locations and is projected to nearly add 10,000 new customers due top rojected reduced rates that the project will bring about. These Hybrid Mini-grids are designed to compensate the cost of electricity by reducing the use of diesel generation.

It is worth noting that the development funds provided by DFID was tied to a requisite co-investment by the winning proposers. In leveraging the $2.9M provided by DFID, the six winning implementing partners will co-invest a total of $1.48M out of their own resources to fully fund the six projects. Thus the project total cost is nearly a $4.4 million.

MOEM is very pleased to note that two of the six projects that will be implemented under this ESRES program (Badhan & Buhodle) are located in the outlying underserved areas of the country which is a testament to the priority policy of President Silanyo’ s government of Somaliland to extend development projects to underdeveloped parts of the country.

This new partnership between MOEM and the ESPs under this ESRES program will change the way of generating electricity. With so much sun and one of the best countries in the world for wind energy capacity, it is time for Somaliland people to join the development of clean energy generation by tapping into its God given renewable energy resources that this country is endowed with. Solar energy will provide clean energy, reduce power operating cost and will last longer then these out-dated diesel generators. Solar power assets can last 20 to 25 years compared to a year or two for diesel generators. Reducing the cost of generating electricity can only lead to cheaper electricity rates for consumers.

People will be able to use more electricity during the day at a cheaper rate as solar power can provide energy to the people at a lower cost than diesel generation. This will allow ESPs to generate power for longer hours with reduced cost. It is important that Somaliland lead the way to a Renewable Energy future as it is proven to be a more affordable way to generating electricity.

It is time to change out-dated practices and use the natural renewable energy resources available in Somaliland. This pilot projects with the help of DFID funded ESRES Programme will bring about a better way of providing electricity to the people of Somaliland. During the project period, this ESRES Programme will help the ESPs with technical advice on designing, implementing and operating these Renewable Energy facilities. It will bring new skills for the work force and increase jobs in Somaliland. As experience grow, the industry will grow by bringing new technology in Somaliland.

These pilot projects are the beginning of a new era in Somaliland in Clean Energy use. It will prove to other International Partners that Somaliland is ready for great changes and innovation in diversifying its energy generation.

It is important to recognise that with DFID current and future funding, MoEM will be able to support the Energy Sector in reducing the cost of power generation and bring electricity to even more remote areas in Somaliland.

I want to convey to the UK government and DFID the sincere thanks of MOEM, the government and the people of Somaliland for their continuing support of Somaliland’s energy sector. I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate the winning implementing partners for Phase 1 of this ESRES program and wish them the best of luck and success in completing these important energy projects that will bring great benefit to the six communities that they will impact.

In closing I want to take this opportunity to remind the donor community that have been supportive of Somaliland’s development that there is a severe drought that is plaguing several regions of SL (Sanaag, Saraar, Sool, Toghdheer and Haysimo). Huge numbers of livestock has perished in good parts of these regions due to lack of water and pasture and the people are under that due to starvation after having lost most of their livestock.

SL government, private sector and diaspora have reacted already and have begun to mobilize resources to lend a hand to the impacted communities, likewise, we appeal to the international community to appreciate the gravity of this impending calamity and direct their appropriate relief agencies to mobilize emergency relief to these affected areas pf the country.img_0168 img_0144

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About the Author

- Mohamed Ibrahim Guled is the CEO, owner and chief editor of SomalilandPress

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