Internationally, over the past 2 years, PEER has been in working with its sister company, PEER Africa, to develop and install 507 distributive generation micro-grids in the informal settlement in the !Kheis Municipality in the Northern Cape Province in South Africa.
Each home – described as an informal shelter constructed of bits and pieces of tin and/or wood – is equipped with a 7.5 kW PV solar home system kit, which includes a PV panel, kitchen appliances, cell phone charging station, a color TV, radio and computer. These shelters are completely “off the grid”, since the central grid connection is far and already insecure and overloaded, operating completely on battery storage, i.e. DC current only.
Moreover, the team has supplemented additional technologies to provide a more robust energy program. For example, the roofs of all the shelters have been painted with cool coatings to allow the PV panels to operate more efficiently during the oppressively hot summers; whenever possible, the tin walls were also painted with cool coatings to allow for extra indoor thermal comfort for the residents.
PEER is on the cusp of delivering clean energy that incorporates “blue ocean” approaches in a “red ocean” space, creating solutions that are appropriate, innovative, and affordable.