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English: Where shall we put it? Solar mini-grid site selection handbook

The German Climate and Technology Initiative. Promotion of Solar-Hybrid Mini-Grids in Kenya




The German Climate and Technology Initiative. Promotion of Solar-Hybrid Mini-Grids in Kenya


See license tag below.

Table of contents

Chapter 1. Introduction 5
Chapter 2. Basic procedures for site selection 7
                     A. Site selection parameters 7
                     B. Steps in site selection 8
                     C. Analysis of evaluation results 11
Chapter 3. Ranking the criteria parameters 12
                     1. Exact location of installation 12
                          a) Distance to existing power source 12
                          b) Transmission distance based on population 13
                          c) Accessibility and topography 14
                     2. Productivity 15
                     3. Payment for services 16
                     4. Magnitude of potential power consumers 17
                     5. Security 18
Chapter 4. Evaluation report 19


mini-grid is an integrated local electricity generation, <g class="gr_ gr_79 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="79" data-gr-id="79">transmission</g> and distribution system serving numerous customers.
Electrification is projected to boost and diversify the economic potential of a given area, by spurring other key enablers of development in the short and/or long term. All selection factors being equal, the most suitable site for installing a solar-hybrid mini-grid is the site that offers the biggest potential to transform the lives of intended beneficiaries. 

Solar-hybrid mini-grids produce electrical energy through a mix of solar and any other resource — it could be a renewable resource like wind, or a fossil fuel like diesel used as a back-up. The combination makes <g class="gr_ gr_89 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="89" data-gr-id="89">solarhybrids</g> extremely versatile and adaptable to a wide range of uses and climatic conditions. 

This site selection criteria handbook was developed with flexibility in <g class="gr_ gr_93 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation only-del replaceWithoutSep" id="93" data-gr-id="93">mind,</g> and can be used as a guideline by all actors in the energy sector to perform a site selection analysis for any mini-grid project, by carefully selecting the appropriate parameters that apply to their own areas of implementation.

The site selected for mini-grid implementation has a heavy impact, among other factors, on attracting both public and private investments and the overall sustainability of the system. In response to these factors, there is <g class="gr_ gr_96 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins doubleReplace replaceWithoutSep" id="96" data-gr-id="96">need</g> for a careful and thorough evaluation of potential sites for implementation in order to deliver both social and economic benefits to potential power consumers, as well as boost investment from the public and private sectors.

The guidelines incorporated in this handbook have been developed to assist all players in the energy sector, private sector actors, government institutions, academic institutions and development partners in site assessment and selection. The guiding principles are based <g class="gr_ gr_83 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="83" data-gr-id="83">upon</g> the findings of the assessment of 14 sites, carried out by GIZ, REA, MoEP and Kenya Power between June and October 2013 in Marsabit, Samburu and Turkana counties, in the framework of the Scaling-Up Renewable
Energy Programme (SREP) for Mini-Grids. 

This handbook is divided into 4 chapters: Chapter 1 gives a basic introduction. Chapter 2 describes the procedures for site selection, Chapter 3 outlines in detail the ranking criteria parameters, while Chapter 4 gives a summary of what should constitute the final evaluation report. Some illustrations from the GIZ site selection process have been incorporated in this handbook, as a practical guide to how the process can be conducted with ease. It thus <g class="gr_ gr_103 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation only-del replaceWithoutSep" id="103" data-gr-id="103">establishes,</g> but is not limited to,
the basic considerations for an adequate site selection process. Other parameters can be incorporated in addition to the ones discussed here.

Further information

This guidebook has been developed as part of a series of handbooks on mini-grids. You can check out the other ones on the following web pages:

  • GIZ-ProSolar. Mini-grid Financing? <g class="gr_ gr_251 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="251" data-gr-id="251">Aguide</g> to <g class="gr_ gr_367 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="367" data-gr-id="367">financing</g> of mini-grid companies and projects.July 2017.
  • GIZ - ProSolar. Mini Grid LicensingLessons learned from the application for a power generation and distribution <g class="gr_ gr_91 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="91" data-gr-id="91">permit</g> for the Talek Power Solar Mini-Grid Project. July 2015.
  • GIZ - ProSolar. Mini-Grid Sizing? How to assess the electricity demand for a community and determine the appropriate size of a new solar mini-grid. August 2016.
  • ProSolar 2016 <g class="gr_ gr_88 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del" id="88" data-gr-id="88">factsheets</g>: ProSolar project, Mini-Grids Result Based Funding (RBF) project.


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