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Solar wind hybrid minigrid at Wadi el-Natrun, Egypt

German manufacturer juwi has completed its first project in Egypt: a solar power plant with four small wind turbines and a battery storage unit.
The renewable energy scheme will generate constant clean energy for water pumps located between the North African country's largest cities, Cairo and Alexandria. The Wadi el-Natrun area is a green oasis with tomatoes, olives, and dates. The off-grid project uses wind and solar for powering several water pumps and a desalination plant. A 500 kW battery storage unit ensures that groundwater is able to be extracted around the clock.

The project was put out for tender by the University of Alexandria, and university researchers can study how arid soil can become accessible for agriculture with remote monitoring available. Using GSM remote monitoring the solar plant can be controlled on the internet from Germany. That way possible faults can be detected in real time and be sorted out immediately by local electricity companies.

The German firm transported PV modules and inverters from Woerrstadt to Wadi el-Natrun with the wind turbines holding a capacity of 12 kW each deriving from the Netherlands. juwi set up the 50 KW PV power plant, the wind turbines as well as the battery storage together with an electronics company from Alexandria in only two weeks' time.

Norbert Borchert from juwi said: 'We haven't just brought water into the desert, we have also transferred our know-how to people who can directly apply the knowledge. For this reason alone it was worth pursuing the project. Thanks to the new hybrid system the old diesel generator has become obsolete. That is good news for the environment and additionally saves fuel costs. The diesel generator wasn't just old but also extremely noisy, dirty and required extensive maintenance.'


Additional information:
News date: 15/11/2012

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