Mini-Grid Toolkits

Green Empowerment has developed and compiled for Sabah RE2 a series of Toolkits to enable best practices to be applied to the planning and design of next generation renewable energy mini-grids at scales suitable for Sabah’s unique characteristics.  These are rooted in experiences and data collected from Sabah, but also draw on proven best practices from throughout the global south.  

To understand the basics of mini-grid operation in the context of Sabah see this demonstration video from TONIBUNG and this SabahRE2 Presentation Deck from Green Empowerment.  Meanwhile this 2019 TONIBUNG Presentation discusses Case Studies of successful mini-grids in Malaysian Borneo, and this Press Statement lays out how the Toolkits contribute to the wider goals of the SabahRE2 Consortium to enable stakeholders to work together in high quality design processes.

Implementers’ Toolkits are primarily designed for mini-grid project developers, with the aim of improving the accessibility of design tools as we move towards mini-grid deployment at scale. These tools assist mini-grid project developers to better determine system sizing, lowest cost generation options, conduct accurate and ready-to-fund feasibility studies, and improve operators’ understanding of systems.  This SabahRE2 training video provides a thorough introduction to the used of the Implementer Toolkit.   Each of these tools is accompanied by a companion manual.  The three tools covered include the following:

1. The micro-hydro feasibility study companion helps calculate the potential size of a micro-hydro system based on head and flow measurements easily collected in the field.

2. The “Building Bridges” micro-hydro costing tool allows those who have defined the key parameters of a micro-hydro system to generate an approximate bill of quantity and estimated system cost of their micro-hydro scheme.

3. The “PV Pal” solar PV design companion- this helps solar PV developers size their inverter, batteries and solar panel array according to the estimated load that the system will be handling.

Planners’ Toolkits help decision-makers and planners identify the lowest cost, and highest performing energy access options, factoring in costs, generation technologies, emissions, and grid availability. These tools will be especially relevant for policy-makers, as well as development banks and donor agencies seeking to support and advocate for renewable energy expansion. They help establish the link between community needs, renewable energy options, government policy, and financing to guide decision-makers towards more resilient energy systems.  To make full use of the mini-grid system optimization tool, a licensed copy of HOMER will be required and to use the emissions calculation tool, a copy of LEAP will be required.

1. The Off-Grid Village Electrification Model uses two platforms in tandem to size a potential system based on demand, then runs a series of simulations in HOMER (Hybrid Optimization of Multiple Energy Resources).  The first excel-based mini-grid demand forecasting tool allows the user to plot projected demand through defining the village’s anticipated load appliances.  The second uses the total demand value, and recommends the optimal combination of generation sources to be used to power that village.

2. LEAP, or the “Low Emissions Analysis Platform” helps the user track emissions in the energy system, and understand what potential impacts of energy policies might be, while understanding future anticipated changes in emissions as a result of the implementation of new energy infrastructure.


TONIBUNG Mini-grid stakeholder training

The Sabah Renewable Energy Rural Electrification Roadmap navigates towards a future of energy equity, right livelihoods, and wellbeing for Sabahans.

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Sabah RE2 Roadmap: Implementer Toolkit Training

The Sabah RE2 roadmap is an imperative for Sabah to begin the change necessary to decisively shift its trajectory towards sustainable development, a low-carbon state economy and climate resilience.

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Planner Toolkits
Implementor Toolkits
Case Studies of Successful Mini grids in Sabah, Malaysia
What Are Mini-Grids, How Are they Relevant to Sabah?
Sabah Rural Electrification Consortium Develops Toolkits for Renewable Energy Mini-Grids