Cooperative Review - April 2018
Vol68-4 April 2018

East Africa delegation visits SMECO

In February, a delegation representing energy utilities from four east African countries visited SMECO as part of a 10-day tour in the U.S.

The U.S Trade and Development Agency arranged the East Africa Smart Grid Reverse Trade Mission to introduce representatives of the African nations to companies and utilities in the U.S. The delegates spent Monday and Tuesday in Washington, DC, meeting with various agencies and trade groups, and then headed to Atlanta, Georgia, where they visited General Electric’s Smart Grid Solutions Experience Center. The group also went to Houston, Texas, to meet with other businesses that offer smart grid technologies.

The 12 delegates from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda came to SMECO to see and learn about a “grid scale” solar project. The SMECO Solar site is similar to the projects that Kenya and other sub-Saharan nations emphasize.

The African nations face problems unlike our own. They use hydropower to generate electricity, but they are experiencing a drought. They also face technical and societal challenges that affect their bottom line.

SMECO personnel shared a brief overview of the Cooperative, and described how SMECO Solar was designed, built, and inter-connected. Before our meeting, the delegates were not familiar with the electric cooperative business model.

East African Delegation and SMECO employees

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