Blog Post

SimpliPhi and EM-ONE Deliver Reliable and Affordable Electricity to Nigeria

Access to electricity plays an essential role in promoting economic development and improving the daily lives of individuals and their well-being. In sub-Saharan Africa, nearly 600 million lack access to energy and millions more rely on costly and environmentally hazardous oil and gas for electricity. To bring modern and clean energy services to Africa, microgrids are gaining traction as a viable solution because of the rapidly declining costs for wind, solar, and batteries, coupled with their ability to be deployed quickly and scale up over time.

Access to reliable and affordable power can be allusive throughout Africa. Nigeria, which is Africa’s largest country in terms of population and a top funding hub for tech startups, regularly suffers from frequent power disruptions, with half of its population living in rural areas having no access to electricity.

To bring clean and reliable power to Nigeria, EM-ONE Energy Solutions, a Canadian-Nigerian engineering firm, partnered with SimpliPhi Power to deliver scalable, affordable, and reliable microgrid solutions. With a vision to transform the aging power infrastructure in Africa into decentralized, decarbonized and digitalized energy systems that improve lives, EM-ONE has successfully delivered more than 20 MW of off-grid, containerized solar microgrid solutions that provide uninterrupted power to rural communities, hospitals, universities, clinics and schools across Nigeria.

SimpliPhi’s Lithium Ferro Phosphate (LFP) chemistry, combined with our proprietary cell architecture, power electronics, battery management system (BMS) allows our energy storage solutions to operate at higher efficiency, with deeper depths of discharge, and extended life cycles, even at higher temperatures. With the ability to withstand extreme heat due to the LFP-based chemistry, our batteries perform better in hot climates making it an ideal fit for EM-ONE’s plug and-play containerized solar+storage microgrid solutions.

In 2019, SimpliPhi partnered with EM-ONE to deliver 43 microgrid systems ranging from 5 – 85kW using PHI 3.5 kWh batteries and were deployed in Northern Nigeria across Borno, Adamawa, Kaduna and Kano states. These systems were Jointly funded by the UK Aid and European Union program, Solar Nigeria, and were one of the first major donor-funded interventions in the Northeast of Nigeria since the Boko Haram insurgency. The aim of aid funding was to rebuild critical health and educational infrastructure, improve the livelihoods of the millions affected by the Northeast conflict, and restore opportunities for a better life.

The EM-ONE microgrids energize hospitals, clinics, and schools throughout Nigeria ensuring these facilities have adequate power for lighting, cooling and water pumping. For medical end-users, the systems’ critical loads also includes refrigeration, cold chain storage, emergency lighting, operating room lighting, X-ray machines and water pumping.

EM-ONE chose SimpliPhi batteries specifically because of their ability to operate successfully in high temperatures without risk of fire. Their experience from the performance of previous projects showed that the extreme heat in Africa caused other batteries to fail, while SimpliPhi batteries continue to operate safely and reliably, ensuring the sustainability and success of every installation.

“SimpliPhi batteries contribute greatly to the success of EM-ONE's installations at health and education centers in Nigeria,” said EM-ONE CEO Mir Islam. “We chose SimpliPhi batteries because they enable our systems to run smoothly and without interruptions, even in extreme temperatures. Eliminating the chance of power failure allows schools, hospitals, and clinics to continuously provide services to thousands of beneficiaries, ultimately improving health and education outcomes in Nigeria.”

As the next big growth market, Africa is leapfrogging ahead of developed countries and embracing the decentralized approach to building out its energy infrastructure. Energy storage systems and microgrids are quick to deploy, can easily scale, and will be an essential building block in meeting Africa’s growing and evolving energy needs.