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Grid Extension

Grid - guyana gridext

These electrical distribution poles extend the existing power grid to this home in Guyana. (Photo:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Grid Extensions connects the facility to the local utility grid. If available, grid power is typically the most cost effective power supply, although the cost of extending lines to rural facilities can be prohibitively expensive. The quality of grid power in developing countries is often poor, so on-site technologies are often required regardless of whether a facility is connected to the grid or not.


Grid extension varies in cost depending on the utility, the terrain, the distance to be covered, and the size of the load to be served. If the local grid is fairly reliable and within a few miles, obtaining an estimate for the capital cost of grid extension and the recurring cost of electricity will give points of comparison when considering other options. However, if grid electricity is less than reliable, then some form of backup energy will be required even with a grid extension.

Cost Considerations

Grid extension typically has a high capital cost, but offers several advantages. First, in most cases, the cost varies only slightly with the size of the load to be served. This makes it uneconomical for small loads but a better option for large loads. Second, once the grid has been extended to the clinic, it can serve other local loads. Third, operations and maintenance are the responsibility of the utility.


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