Hybrid standalone microgrid for agricultural last-mile: A techno-economic analysis

Obafemi O. Olatunji, Paul A. Adedeji, Nkosinathi Madushele, Zelda Z. Rasmeni, Nickey Janse van Rensburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Last-mile communities require electricity for socio-economic development, but the access is limited and majorly depends on environmentally damaging fossil fuels. Therefore, strategic energy access planning is needed to advance such communities towards sustainable development Goals (SDGs). Driven by technological advancement, falling cost of installation, growing recognition of benefits, and proven track record; microgrid networks, and green energy initiatives are evolving into a full-fledged solution for the grid disconnected remote communities. Thus, this study proposes a grid-independent hybrid micro-grid alternative for a remote South African community. It comprises photovoltaic (PV) arrays and a diesel generator. Two scenarios were evaluated vis-a-vis the inclusion or non-inclusion of a diesel-fuelled electricity generator. In addition, the CO2 emissions are calculated to determine the environmental benefit of the proposed scenarios. The modelling was performed using a commercial software called HOMER Pro. It can be concluded that decreasing fuel prices and increasing solar irradiation can lead to a reduction in the total NPC. Also, it was concluded from a sensitivity analysis that decreasing fuel price and increasing solar irradiation could reduce the total NPC. A significant cost difference was observed between the two system scenarios, with PV-Genset having the lowest LCOE (R4.01) though the cost of operation of PV system is lower (R14,859). Overall, the proposed system would provide affordable and sustainable energy access to the last mile residential communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)980-990
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy Reports
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Hybrid microgrid
  • Last mile community
  • SDGs
  • Techno-economic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy


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