January 2019 – Nairobi, Kenya
The MGA held, in its first year, 4 pilot training activities, with the objective to verify whether such an initiative would be attractive to the potential target participants and responsive to their training needs. Two trainings of two modules each, in the proposed 10-days format, and a “Design thinking workshop” held in Kenya, plus the first “MGA on tour” session in Zambia gathered in total 150 trainees from East-Africa, Zambia and Europe.
Approaching its second year of life, the MGA needed to test standardized trainings, replicable in the long run. Therefore, with the support of Enel Foundation, the 5th and 6th training modules of the MGA were held from 15th to 24th January, in a training titled “Operation and maintenance: most utilized micro-grid technologies and data management”.
The final number of participants that attended the full course is 51 trainees, 33 African and 18 European. Countries represented are Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Zambia, Italy and Denmark. Participants came from national entities (i.e. Kenyan Energy Regulatory Commission, Rural Electrification Authority) and utilities (i.e. KPLC), companies (i.e. GoSolar System Ltd., PowerGen), NGOs (CEFA, CUAMM, Emergency), associations (e.g. AWEEF, Women in Engineering), universities (Makerere University, UNZA).
The first week of activities focused on plants’ operation and maintenance, analysing real life’s problem-solving procedures and actual case studies, like the mini-grid in Wolisso, Ethiopia and the one in Talek, Kenya. Classes were given by Enel Green Power, Sapienza University and Strathmore among others. In the second week software and tools for micro-grids design, planning and optimization, site location, data acquisition and management were presented involving, among others, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Cape Town.
Furthermore, some slots during the course have been dedicated to provide the students with didactic pills on other relevant topics – energy storage systems, biomass into fuel technologies, Water-Energy-Food Nexus approach, business models, social return of investment, job opportunities in the MG sector – involving experts from Energy4Impact, Open Africa Power, EACREEE, Columbia University, ARE.