Not everyone is familiar with mini-grids and why should they be? Most Canadians never think about their electricity, where it comes from or how it gets to them. For many of us, electricity is something that is just there when we need it. Mini-grids are one of the solutions to the lack of access to electricity. A mini-grid is simply a small scale power grid. Imagine if your neighborhood wasn’t connected to the rest of the city. You generate your own electricity and share it with those nearby, that is a mini-grid.
So what are the reasons for choosing a mini-grid over the national grid model we are used to? There are several reasons, but one of the biggest is cost. Covering thousands of square miles with electrical wire and poles is expensive, and for many countries there just isn’t enought current power generation to deliver it. Mini-grids don’t distribute their power over a large area, so the distribution infrastructure costs are much lower. Coupled with renewable generating power, mini-grids are a versatile option who’s time has come.