26 November 2013, Lagos — Organisers of the just-ended inaugural Africa Off Grid Energy Innovation Challenge hailed the innovation behind solutions aimed at resolving the energy problems on the continent.
Speaking after the announcement of best three winning entries in Lagos, President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Africa, Jay Ireland, said he was excited about the high calibre of entries.
Three innovators-two from Nigeria and one from Kenya- were eventually named the winners of the challenge.
Ireland said the initiative had once again proven that with the right partnerships, Africans could develop home-grown solutions to the challenges they faced.
The winners were announced as Trans Africa Gas and Electric, GVE Projects Limited and Afe Babalola University.
Nigeria’s GVE Projects limited designed an 18 KW solar powered off grid electricity project that will generate electricity for not less than 140 homes through a mini-gird in the Egbeke community of Rivers state.
Trans Africa Gas and Electric, from the same country, was a standalone cold storage facility embedded in two rural communities in Dandanrua Road and Tudun Wada both in Jos, north central Nigeria.
The storage facility, with an 8kW solar nameplate generator, will allow farmers to cool and store their produce before bringing to the market.
Afe Babalola University plans to generate 2.5 megawatts of electricity through a renewable hydro-electric power system that will serve over 10 000 members of the university community and beyond.
To achieve this, the university plans to construct a dam in a community river. All three wining entries will receive N16 million each to grow their innovative solutions.
GE in partnership with the United States Africa Development Foundation, organized the challenge. It was launched in Kenya and Nigeria but there are plans to expand to other African countries over the next three years.
USADF President, Shari Berenbach said the judges carefully evaluated more than 150 applications to arrive at the eventual winners.