Germany’s Siemens has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with clean power solutions provider Solarkiosk to power non-electrified parts of rural Africa with microgrid solutions.

The partnership will focus on Solarkiosk’s solar projects in East Africa. Over 250 projects have been deployed by Solarkiosk in twelve countries, serving about five million people.

“Solarkiosk will be able to improve serviceability of the electrical equipment and make sure the energy is used in the most efficient way.”

As per the terms of the MoU agreement, the first project based in Rwanda will see Siemens implementing a microgrid gateway to collect data from Solarkiosk’s existing energy systems and retail businesses, and enable remote control of the E-Hubb to improve service and energy usage.

Solarkiosk’s solar-powered E-Hubb serves as a business centrepiece for a rural ‘off-grid’ village that provides retail and energy-related services such as charging mobile phones, batteries, lights, and internet connectivity.

The gateway will be connected to applications running on Siemens EnergyIP smart grid application platform.

Siemens Energy Management Division CEO Ralf Christian said: “With Siemens’ micro-grid applications powered by MindSphere, Solarkiosk will be able to improve serviceability of the electrical equipment and make sure the energy is used in the most efficient way.

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“Furthermore, the analysed data supports Solarkiosk in making the most economic decisions by evaluating the productivity of different service offerings.

“If the B2B micro-grid grows further you can do even more with the collected data and local control capability. That’s our motivation for a co-creation agreement to define the next system generation maximising value for all partners.”

Additionally, Solarkiosk will assess further industrialisation of electrical equipment and improvement of the solution with Siemens equipment such as local micro-grid control or inverter kits.