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Africa is rich in renewable energy sources, especially solar energy.

Unfortunately, the abundance of solar power has not been harnessed yet.

In my home country Nigeria, most people grew up in darkness with regular power outage. Many businesses nowadays use diesel-powered generators to produce electricity. I went through several periods without electricity altogether.

A change needs to happen.

That is why, Omachonu Joshua Dominic and I founded the NGO RA365, with the mission of providing renewable energy to most at-need communities in Nigeria to stop the energy crisis.

The challenge

Quickly, we realized the potential of using AI for solar energy but were looking for a partner to build the solutions.

Supported by Sebastian Laverde who joined Omdena’s community early on we got in contact with their Founder Rudradeb Mitra and within two weeks designed an AI challenge on their platform.

The goal was to end energy poverty in Nigeria via building machine learning algorithms suitable to identify the best spots for solar power.

How Omdena’s AI Community Changed Our Lives

We were impressed and encouraged by the attendance of willing participants brought together from all around the world by the large network of Omdena.

At this point, Dominic and I knew we had the right minds to revolutionize the electrification system in Nigeria.

The community of AI experts swung immediately into action and the members displayed a penchant enthusiasm. The sacrifice and empathy to participate in a mission of helping a country they had never seen was overwhelming for the RA365 team.

It provided us a deep dive into the power of data science and machine learning

Much thanks to Rudradeb Mitra, an astute personality with a heart of gold, for being a blessing to this generation. Through his humanitarian assistance, and overseeing leadership, he has brought great minds together.

To all, we have to say,

We are very grateful.

Solar Panels

Using AI for Solar Energy Across Nigeria

The challenge was separated into two phases — the research phase which was executed by the Omdena community. This involved using machine-learning based heatmaps and grid coverage analysis to identify regional clusters in Nigeria that are most viable for installing solar panel stations.

The developed heatmaps are reproducible in other African countries or developing places where solar energy could bring in value.

If you are interested in a more technical understanding of the AI solutions, check the article below.

The second phase entails the physical deployment of a mini-off-grid solar power generation substation to power a remote community.

The enthusiasm exhibited by the Omdena community sparked reassuring confidence in the RA365 team to deliver on its part of the challenge.

Our team had made great strides in using the state of the art results obtained from the challenge to built significant partnerships in the solar energy industry in Germany and with Nigerian governmental agencies.

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