Somaliland: Solar power and microgrid intelligence for urban power grid

DHYBRID technology increases security of supply for Berbera town and port

Gauting (Germany) / Berbera (Somaliland), June 22, 2021. From April 2021, the city-wide power grid of Berbera including the largest port in the region will be monitored and controlled with microgrid technology from DHYBRID. In the network of the energy supplier Berbera Electricity Company (BEC), two solar systems with a total of 8 megawatts of power, a lithium-ion power storage system with a capacity of 2 megawatt hours and three modern diesel generators were combined. This enabled BEC to lower the electricity tariff in Berbera, which is now the lowest in Somaliland and the Somali Peninsula as a whole.

A crane lifts a large, white container into the air

DHYBRID battery storage in an air-conditioned container (source: DHYBRID)

DHYBRID was able to implement the extensive expansion despite the ongoing pandemic and the far-reaching logistical challenges with the help of international partner teams and remote-controlled commissioning.

High energy prices and more and more solar systems

Somalia and the Republic of Somaliland are among the countries with the highest energy prices in the world. The energy system is characterized by isolated city networks with diesel generators. At the same time, the need for electrical energy is growing due to the rapid expansion of infrastructure. The port of Berbera is supposed to improve the flow of goods to Ethiopia with its over 100 million inhabitants and is currently being expanded for almost half a billion dollars. Berbera also has its own airports, which are also supplied with energy by BEC.

In order to improve the energy supply, more and more photovoltaic power plants are being built in addition to existing generators in Somaliland. This change poses major challenges for the grids: “ Different producers in the grid have to be coordinated on an ongoing basis, especially when renewable energies are involved. Otherwise problems with the mains frequency and voltage are inevitable and the available power cannot even be used, ”explains Benedikt Böhm from DHYBRID. “ Just looking at the installed solar power is therefore not enough; good network management is essential. "

Universal Power Platform coordinates decentralized producers

The requirement was clear: Berbera needed a scalable energy supply that we can monitor and manage centrally and that as quickly as possible. DHYBRID has succeeded in both with the Universal Power Platform, the power quality and performance of the network increased noticeably immediately after commissioning, ”says Ibrahim Yaqub, CEO of BEC. The power factor of the entire city network of Berbera has increased by 20 percent. This made the distribution much more resilient and the generation of electricity much more efficient. Additionally, by phasing out large amounts of diesel fuel, Berbera is now the largest city in Somaliland to be powered by renewable energy. In addition, the city now operates the largest battery storage system in the country.

BEC uses the technology-open Universal Power Platform (UPP) from DHYBRID as a process control system and monitors its energy network with the SCADA system from the microgrid specialists from Germany. The term SCADA stands for Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition and describes computer-aided systems for monitoring technical systems.

The lithium-ion storage system from DHYBRID can be operated in parallel with the grid or as a grid-forming system. In this operating mode, in conjunction with the UPP, it almost completely rules out network instabilities and faults that are triggered, among other things, by the increasing energy demand.

The project in Somaliland is one of the first in the world to use the patented Maximum Inverter Power Tracking (MIPT) from DHYBRID, which increases the proportion of solar power in microgrids.

About DHYBRID

DHYBRID is a specialized, international solution provider of renewable and hybrid energy systems for islands, industry and utility companies, headquartered in Munich. The company offers turnkey solutions and individual control systems for hybrid energy projects. DHYBRID combines the conventional energy supply through diesel generators or unstable supply networks with renewable energy systems and storage technologies - perfectly controlled and comprehensively visualized.

1 Like