Mini-Grid Innovation Lab:
innovating to provide more power,
to more people,
at less cost

OUR PROTOTYPES

The Lab works with developers to identify, design, and test innovations across Africa. See below for the innovations that are live in the field and those we’re launching soon.

EAST AFRICA

  • Appliance Financing
  • Bulk Procurement
    • Prototype: BULK PROCUREMENT
    • Number of Active Sites: 0
    • Number of Connections: 0
    • Study Design
  • Grid Competition
    • Prototype: GRID COMPETITION
    • Number of Active Sites: 1
    • Number of Connections: 227
    • Study Design
  • Grid Densification
    • Prototype: GRID DENSIFICATION
    • Number of Active Sites: 12
    • Number of Connections: 708
    • Study Design
  • INTERNET
  • Metering
    • Prototype: METERING
    • Number of Active Sites: 3
    • Number of Connections: 171
    • Study Design
  • MODULAR GRIDS: INCREASING CAPACITY MODULARLY
    • Prototype: MODULAR GRIDS: INCREASING CAPACITY MODULARLY
    • Number of Active Sites: 1
    • Number of Connections: 200
    • Study Design
  • Tariff Reduction
    • Prototype: TARIFF REDUCTION
    • Number of Active Sites: 5
    • Number of Connections: 850
    • Study Design

ZAMBIA

  • Bulk Procurement
    • Prototype: BULK PROCUREMENT
    • Number of Active Sites: 0
    • Number of Connections: 0
    • Study Design
  • Connecting beyond the meter
    • Prototype: CONNECTING BEYOND THE METER
    • Number of Active Sites: 12
    • Number of Connections: 708
    • Study Design
  • Grid Densification
    • Prototype: GRID DENSIFICATION
    • Number of Active Sites: 12
    • Number of Connections: 708
    • Study Design

NIGERIA

  • Appliance Financing
  • Bulk Procurement
    • Prototype: BULK PROCUREMENT
    • Number of Active Sites: 0
    • Number of Connections: 0
    • Study Design
  • Grid Densification
    • Prototype: GRID DENSIFICATION
    • Number of Active Sites: 12
    • Number of Connections: 708
    • Study Design
KEY
  • Identified
  • Selected
  • Study design finalized
  • Operator Agreement signed
  • Active
Appliance Financing
APPLIANCE FINANCING

Offers customers appliances on set financing terms to test the impact on a mini-grid’s load, customer consumption, and developers’ revenues.

APPLIANCE FINANCING 1.0

Tests household appliances, such as TVs, fridges, and speakers.

APPLIANCE FINANCING 2.0

Tests productive use appliances, such as grain mills and welders, and introduces Angaza as a payment platform to simplify developers’ tracking of loan repayments.

APPLIANCE FINANCING 3.0

Introduces Asaga Technologies to supply energy-efficient productive use appliances customized to the African mini-grid market.

bulk
BULK PROCUREMENT

Aggregates developers’ orders for various mini-grid components to negotiate the best deal and procure components in bulk, to test the impact on developers’ capital expenditure.

CONNECTING BEYOND THE METER
CONNECTING BEYOND THE METER

Delivers the full benefits of electrification to customers from day 1, by offering an electricity connection and appliances simultaneously, to test if customers can benefit from more energy services more quickly, and at less cost to the developer.

Grid competition
GRID COMPETITION

Subsidizes a mini-grid’s tariffs to compete with main grid tariffs on sites where the main grid has encroached, to test the impact on customers’ choice in power.

Grid Densification
GRID DENSIFICATION

Tests the impact on developers’ capex of proactively building distribution infrastructure and installing connections ahead of receiving customer connection fees.

Wi-fi
INTERNET

Offers customers internet connections to test the impact on customer consumption and developers’ revenues.

INTERNET 1.0

Tests Wi-Fi-based internet connections served by satellite.

INTERNET 2.0

Tests fiber-based internet connections served by the local telecom network.

Metering
METERING

Tests the hardware and software performance of several smart meters to help developers choose the optimal meter for a given site.

modular grid
MODULAR GRIDS

Tests smart inverters and new battery technologies that allow developers to flexibly and efficiently increase a mini-grid’s capacity or extend its reach to match capacity with demand, thereby optimizing capital expenditure.

INCREASING CAPACITY MODULARLY

Tests new technologies designed to increase a mini-grid’s capacity, at sites where demand is greater than capacity.

EXTENDING REACH MODULARLY

Tests new technologies designed to expand a mini-grid’s reach to serve new productive use customers, at sites where capacity is greater than demand.

Tariff Reduction
TARIFF REDUCTION

Subsidizes a mini-grid’s tariffs to test the impact on customer consumption and developers’ revenues.