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Hybrid off-grid renewable power system for sustainable rural electrification in Benin

Odou, Oluwarotimi Delano Thierry, Bhandari, Ramchandra, Adamou, Rabani
Renewable energy 2020 v.145 pp. 1266-1279
batteries, carbon dioxide, case studies, computer software, generators (equipment), greenhouse gas emissions, models, potential energy, power plants, rural communities, rural electrification, solar energy, solar radiation, villages, Benin
Providing power to rural communities, which are far from the grid and suffer from lack of energy access in Africa, especially in Benin, in a sustainable manner requires the adoption of appropriate technology. This paper aims at analysing the techno-economic feasibility of hybrid renewable energy system (HRES) for sustainable rural electrification in Benin, using a case study of Fouay village. HOMER software is used to perform optimization, simulation and sensitivity analysis. The analysis showed that hybrid solar photovoltaics (PV)/diesel generator (DG)/battery (of 150 kW/62.5 kVA/637 kWh) is the least cost optimal system. This system ensures a reliable power supply, reduces battery requirements by 70% compared to PV/battery system and achieves 97% CO2 emissions reduction compared to a conventional DG. Moreover, the study demonstrated that the most economical HRES depends strongly on the potential energy sources available at a location and power plant's remoteness from the beneficiary. In summary, as solar radiation is an abundant resource across the country, this hybrid PV/DG/battery system can be a suitable model to power remote areas in Benin, and we recommend it for future electrification projects in the country in place of the current widely deployed PV/battery system.