Press Releases

Press release: Standard Microgrid Ribbon Cutting for 10th Solar Microgrid in Zambia, and AMDA’s Zambia Chapter Launch

Zambia’s Minister of Energy Matthew Nkhuwa presided as the guest of honor February 7th at the ribbon-cutting for Standard Microgrid’s 10th solar microgrid in Zambia, which also served as the public launch of the Africa Minigrid Developers Association’s Zambia country chapter.

The event was presided over by a High Table of Zambia’s Minister of Energy Matthew Nkhuwa, Energy Regulation Board Director of Technical Planning Allen Polito (standing in for Executive Director Langiwe Lungu), Rural Electrification Authority CEO Clement Silavwe, Sweden’s Ambassador to Zambia Anna Maj Hultgard, Director of USAID Zambia Sheryl Stumbras, Africa Minigrid Developers Association CEO Aaron Leopold, and Standard Microgrid CEO Brian Somers.

The event served as a celebration of the success and promise of Zambia’s minigrid sector, uniting support from the Zambian government through the Ministry of Energy, Rural Electrification Authority, and the country’s primary regulator the Energy Regulation Board, the Swedish Government through SIDA, the American government through USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures program and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and the variety of other supporters of Standard Microgrid’s work including the DOEN Foundation, Microsoft, DFID, CrossBoundary, Empowered By Light, the UK Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

Minister of Energy Nkhuwa said, “We at the Ministry of Energy believe that we should employ the private sector’s creativity and investment in order to achieve our electrification targets. It is therefore with delight that I attend this event, and I will continue to extend my support to those working towards bringing power to Zambia.”

Standard Microgrid (SMG) serves power to over 7,000 people in Zambia, using microgrids consisting of solar and energy storage, not requiring diesel back-up or fossil fuels. The company is busy building a 150-microgrid portfolio in Zambia, which will bring productive, reliable AC power to ~130,000 people in Zambia who currently go dark at night.

Standard Microgrid’s CEO Brian Somers said “Success in the microgrid sector is fundamentally about scale, and the ability to replicate rapidly while preserving world-class quality. Standard Microgrid’s focus on standardization and scaleability reflects this. The Minister of Energy cutting the ribbon on our 10th microgrid aptly reflects the strong support provided by the Zambian government and the international community to SMG, and to the microgrid sector in Zambia. Now, we must focus on continuing to scale these solutions.”

The Africa Minigrid Developers Association (AMDA) represents the minigrid industry in Africa, providing knowledge-sharing, coordination and advocacy to comprise a transparent and future-focused platform in order to enable policy-makers, funders, and partners in rural electrification to align with and support the microgrid industry.

Zambia is AMDA’s fourth country chapter, after successful activity in Kenya, Tanzania, and Nigeria. The arrival of AMDA in Zambia signifies the scale-up of the microgrid sector in Zambia, and AMDA’s Zambia chapter features four members: Standard Microgrid, Engie PowerCorner Zambia, Muhanya Solar, and Virunga Power.

AMDA’s CEO Aaron Leopold said “We are extraordinarily happy to launch the Zambia chapter of AMDA at the commissioning of one of our members’ sites. Our mission is to provide government, donor and investor partners with the data, evidence and guidance needed to help better support the scaling of the sector to deliver for rural communities across Africa. And Zambia’s government and donor partners are exemplary of the type of support and collaboration needed to end energy poverty across all of Africa.”

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