The rural community of Birin, in the district of Hebron, Palestine located in a highly unstructured region due to the Israeli occupation, has large areas for agriculture and livestock (main occupation of the 80% of the local Bedouin population). On the other hand, their water resources are significant in an area where water is a scarce and much disputed resource. Birin has a large underused source of natural water and rainwater cisterns. The use of outdated farming techniques, the lack of water and lack of electrical systems for using advanced farming techniques limits the amount and quality of the products obtained. Moreover, the lack of basic services such as electricity supply and education, causes abandonment of land and displacement of population to the cities.
In order to improve the agriculture and livestock systems in the Bedouin community of Birin and, consequently, the quality of life of the inhabitants, in 2015 Trama Tecno Ambiental (TTA), an international consulting and engineering firm, with financial support of the Spanish Cooperation Agency and co-funding from the partners involved, introduced solar electrification and pumping to the area with agricultural improvements, dairy and wool production resources with the addition of new electrical inputs in the production process, or electric weaving machines as a basis for income generation for women.
3 micro grids with solar generation (MSG) provided electricity to cover the electricity needs of production, domestic power demand, the UNRWA school that also served as a local clinic, and the illumination of the streets of Birin. Thus, improving the quality of life and safety of the population and promoting improvement in the environment.
With a mixture of clustered and scattered buildings in the village, the solution is based on a combination of a solar PV micro-grids and individual PV micro power plants under the same operation scheme. The microgrids are composed of the PV generator (without diesel generator backup), which supplies an alternating current coupled with micro power plant with a battery storage and a battery inverter. The energy supply depends on the resource availability, the solution’s capacity and on the technical conditions of the area, thus ensuring that the limited solar resource is shared without conflicts.
The energy management in place is done using the TTA’s award winning Electricity Dispensers meter (Winner of the Off-Grid Experts Awards 2015), with a project-tailored tariff system to ensure a rational electricity supply and that equipment operates within safe technical thresholds. The tariff concept is the Energy Daily Allowance (TTA’s patented EDA tariff) meant to keep the electricity consumption within a certain range to strengthen the control and avoid overconsumption. The flat rate tariffs, fixed for consumption level (between 825 Wh/day and 1650 Wh/day for households) are pre-contracted and decided with community.
Owing to the solution implemented 36 families benefited from electrification of households and the whole community benefited from electrification of community buildings: the school and the center for community productive activities. To reach all dwellers a combination of technical solutions was implemented through a solar micro grid to supply the 26 interconnected families and communal services, plus 10 individual installations for the houses located further from the nucleus. All users remain under the same operation scheme, which eases the operation and maintenance of the system and is not exclusive to the village nucleus.
Partners: the Spanish Cooperation Agency, SEBA (non-profit organization, Spain), ERC (Energy Research Centre of the An-Najah University, Palestine) and UAWC (Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Palestine)
Budget: 100, 000 Euro
Contact person: Maria Anzizu –TTA