Technical Energy Consultant – Street Lighting and Mini Grids Renewable Energy for Refugees (RE4R) Project Consultancy Role

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Practical Action is an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) that uses technology to challenge poverty in developing countries.

We find out what people are doing and help them to do it better. Through technology we enable poor communities to build on their skills and knowledge to produce sustainable and practical solutions- transforming their lives forever and protecting the world around them.

Technical Energy Consultant – Street Lighting and Mini Grids Renewable Energy for Refugees (RE4R) Project

Consultancy Role

 Our Vision

Our vision is for a world where all people have access to the technologies that enable them to meet their basic needs and reach their potential, in a way that safeguards the planet today, and for future generations.

 Our Beliefs

We believe that:

  • Technology is a key enabler of human development; and that technological innovation has the power to propel us into a better world.
  • All people should have access to, and a voice in, shaping the technologies that can improve their lives.
  • A sustainable future for our planet requires a fundamental shift in the way technology is developed and used.

 Our Mission

To develop and demonstrate practical, technology based solutions that enable women and men living in or vulnerable to poverty, to lead dignified lives. To partner with people whose lives are transformed by these efforts and with a range of other organisations, ensuring local ownership and that the solutions work in the longer term without us. To inspire change through the widespread adoption of sustainable technologies that work - socially, economically and environmentally, so that more people living in, or vulnerable to, poverty benefit from our learning.

 Our Ambition and About Us

Our ambition is that by 2030 we will have transformed the way technology is used to improve the lives of people living in, or vulnerable to, poverty.

 With 50 years of expertise, Practical Action has a strong heritage and track record of bringing communities and experts together to find practical, sustainable solutions to enable people to meet their needs, which work for both people and the planet.  Technology features in everything we do. Working throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America, Practical Action improves the lives of around one million people every year through improved access to energy, sustainable agriculture, water, sanitation and waste management, and disaster risk reduction. We are a trusted partner of many communities, governments, development agencies and the private sector. We are uniquely placed as a knowledge broker with a breadth of capacities which enable us to capture and share knowledge in relevant ways for our diverse audiences. We are influential at national level where we work, and globally and considered a “go-to” agency by those seeking to improve energy access for people living in poverty.

Role description: Technical Energy Consultant – Street lighting and Mini Grids - RE4R project

ABOUT THE ROLE

Practical Action is delivering a Renewable Energy for Refugees (RE4R) project in Rwanda and Jordan. This project is led by Practical Action and UNHCR to deliver renewable energy investments through an innovative approach in humanitarian settings, working directly with refugees and host communities in Kigeme, Nyabiheke and Gihembe refugee camps in Rwanda and with urban refugees in Irbid in Jordan. The project will provide access to affordable and sustainable sources of renewable energy, and improve the health, wellbeing and security of target populations. It draws on Practical Action’s considerable existing experience in renewable energy programmes in developing countries – working directly with communities to deliver the best energy services and products possible for local people. The UK office will oversee the implementation of the overall programme including technical leadership.

This post is for a Technical Energy Consultant for the initial delivery phase of the RE4R project, from Mid-November 2018 to June 2019. As a senior consultant position, this role will develop technical analysis and operational procurement processes on access to sustainable energy for displaced persons. The role will require working with multiple sources of information and using economic, quantitative and qualitative methods to develop Practical Action’s technical programme design for refugees in Rwanda and support the associated procurement and contracting processes. The outputs produced by this role will be used to set-up the implementation of the renewable energy intervention, inform and influence the sustainable energy policies, priorities and operations of donors, host governments, national and international organisations.

Title

Technical Energy Consultant – Street Lighting and Mini Grids - Renewable Energy for Refugees (RE4R) Project

Responsible to

RE4R Rwanda Project Manager, Rwanda Technical Programme Lead, and RE4R technical staff

Location

Based in Kigali, Rwanda

Duration

8 months November 2018 to June 2019: 4 days a week equivalent. Around 130 days.

Travel

Regular travel to the refugee camps in Rwanda with some possible travel to UK or Kenya. Expected approximately 12 weeks.

The role will focus on programme development, technical advice and quality assurance on solar street lighting and renewable mini-grids for three refugee camps in Rwanda. Specific inputs are likely to include:

  • Analysis of the technical viability of solar street lighting solutions and renewable mini-grid technologies in the specific context of each refugee camp (including host community), taking into account protection, financial, environmental, sustainability and livelihood considerations.
  • Design of technical programme elements with Practical Action Rwanda and UNHCR teams, including considerable travel within Rwanda and to the three refugee camps. Travel is estimated to be 12 weeks during the assignment in Rwanda, therefore, applicants from Rwanda or people based in Rwanda are encouraged.
  • Technical inputs for delivery contracts in Rwanda, determining technical terms of reference for procurement, developing specifications for renewable energy products and services, and technical design of tendering processes: possibly including competitive tenders and open calls for the procurement of renewable energy services and products.
  • Analysis of the outcomes of the assessment phase to design programme elements and methods of implementation. Advising on how key outputs from the RE4R technical assessment and quantitative modelling work integrate into procurement and tendering processes during implementation of the programme.
  • Data collection, technical advice and analysis for displaced people on energy access needs, including energy for public lighting and institutional provision of energy. For example, purchasing and installing meters to measure diesel consumption and financial and technical evaluation of existing and potential delivery models for institutional and community energy.
  • Advising how institutional and community level information should be developed with key partners such as UNHCR and institutions within the refugee camps, such as the Ministry in charge of Emergency Management and the Ministry of Infrastructure, and implementing partners, to ensure energy programmes are well balanced and integrated at all levels.
  • Analysis of innovative financing, business models, delivery options, and state-of-the-art programme design elements, including assessment of private-sector involvement and modes of engagement for delivery.
  • Specifically for this project, the technical consultant will be expected to deliver the following activities for community street lighting:
  1. Assist with gathering operational and technical data to feed into the detailed intervention plans on street lighting for the three Rwanda camps, including talking with suppliers and involvement of private sector, government, communities and local NGO partners.
  2. Analyse and evaluate designs for solar street lighting for rural and refugee communities, for example through the evaluation of tender and bid documents.
  3. Analysis of community participation models for each of the refugee camps, working with UNHCR to understand previous models and community participation options.
  4. Develop community engagement plans and processes to ensure community participation and buy-in for public solar street lighting, working closely with the Rwanda RE4R technical and field teams, UNHCR and other partners.
  5. Development of sustainability plans to ensure long term success of public lighting instalments.
  6. Design and produce scope of works, including technical specifications and detailed plans for street lighting procurement.
  7. Assist the Rwanda team in preparing and evaluating of tender documents (specifications, bills of quantities, rates, delivery models, etc.) for solar street lighting.
  8. Assist the project team in procurement and contracting for solar street lighting services and equipment. For example, review and evaluate the proposals from suppliers.
  9. Support the Rwanda team in the testing, commissioning, and training for the installation, operation and maintenance (O&M) of solar street lighting solutions.
  10. Support the coordination and supervision of installation of solar street lighting infrastructure, and support planning for handover at the end of the project.
  11. Output: deliver high-quality procurement and contract documents and supervise installation, O&M and sustainability plans for solar street lighting in all three camps.
  • For renewable mini-grid (likely to be solar or solar-hybrid solutions):
  1. Implementation of energy metering technologies on diesel generators and existing distribution systems in the camps to assess energy usage profiles of UNHCR, implementing partners, and other users.
  2. Analysis of: the current system, demand and load profiles, estimated and projected energy usage, efficiency and optimization for institutional and community facility users of electricity.
  3. Analysis of formal and informal uses of energy and connections to institutional and community facility sources of energy to produce system map of the existing institutional energy system. For example, including electrical system mapping of building facilities, connections and appliances.
  4. Data collection on financial information and costs of energy, estimates of emissions from current energy supply, and economic cost-effectiveness of transition from diesel to renewable systems.
  5. Review delivery models for renewable mini-grids for infrastructure projects in terms of accuracy, suitability to overall design requirements, including identifying improvements in the designs and be able to propose practical solutions. For example, financial models and contractual mechanisms such as direct purchase, lease to own, power purchase agreement, and energy service agreements.
  6. Analysis of energy usage data, financial information and system mapping to produce a report on institutional and community energy usage in the camps. To include comparison and cost analysis of existing energy situation with potential renewable solutions/delivery models and recommendations for the most suitable solution.
  7. Output: deliver high-quality technical data, energy demand analysis and report for institutional and community energy use in all three camps.
  8. Develop community engagement plans and entrepreneurship schemes to ensure livelihood creation, community participation and buy-in for renewable mini-grids, working closely with the Rwanda RE4R technical and field teams.
  9. Assist the Rwanda office in preparing and evaluation of procurement documents (specifications, financial information, rates, delivery models, etc.) for renewable mini-grids.
  10. Assist the project team in procurement and contracting for renewable mini-grids services and equipment. For example, review and evaluate the proposals from suppliers.
  11. Support the Rwanda team in the testing, commissioning, and training for the installation, operation and maintenance (O&M) for mini-grids installation.
  12. Analyse the support the delivery of close-out processes with private suppliers to ensure the long-term financial and environmental sustainability of the intervention.
  13. Ensure effective contract management on site including inspections, testing, quality assurance, and progress monitoring.
  14. Support RE4R Rwanda team on engaging with suppliers, including monitoring, reporting and learning throughout the procurement, set-up and installation periods.

a.    Assist with gathering operational and technical data to feed into the detailed intervention plans on street lighting for the three Rwanda camps, including talking with suppliers and involvement of private sector, government, communities and local NGO partners.
b.    Analyse and evaluate designs for solar street lighting for rural and refugee communities, for example through the evaluation of tender and bid documents.
c.    Analysis of community participation models for each of the refugee camps, working with UNHCR to understand previous models and community participation options.
d.    Develop community engagement plans and processes to ensure community participation and buy-in for public solar street lighting, working closely with the Rwanda RE4R technical and field teams, UNHCR and other partners.
e.    Development of sustainability plans to ensure long term success of public lighting instalments.

f.    Design and produce scope of works, including technical specifications and detailed plans for street lighting procurement.
g.    Assist the Rwanda team in preparing and evaluating of tender documents (specifications, bills of quantities, rates, delivery models, etc.) for solar street lighting.
h.    Assist the project team in procurement and contracting for solar street lighting services and equipment. For example, review and evaluate the proposals from suppliers.
i.    Support the Rwanda team in the testing, commissioning, and training for the installation, operation and maintenance (O&M) of solar street lighting solutions.
j.    Support the coordination and supervision of installation of solar street lighting infrastructure, and support planning for handover at the end of the project.

k.    Output: deliver high-quality procurement and contract documents and supervise installation, O&M and sustainability plans for solar street lighting in all three camps.
-    For renewable mini-grid (likely to be solar or solar-hybrid solutions):

a.    Implementation of energy metering technologies on diesel generators and existing distribution systems in the camps to assess energy usage profiles of UNHCR, implementing partners, and other users.
b.    Analysis of: the current system, demand and load profiles, estimated and projected energy usage, efficiency and optimization for institutional and community facility users of electricity.
c.    Analysis of formal and informal uses of energy and connections to institutional and community facility sources of energy to produce system map of the existing institutional energy system. For example, including electrical system mapping of building facilities, connections and appliances.
d.    Data collection on financial information and costs of energy, estimates of emissions from current energy supply, and economic cost-effectiveness of transition from diesel to renewable systems.
e.    Review delivery models for renewable mini-grids for infrastructure projects in terms of accuracy, suitability to overall design requirements, including identifying improvements in the designs and be able to propose practical solutions. For example, financial models and contractual mechanisms such as direct purchase, lease to own, power purchase agreement, and energy service agreements.
f.    Analysis of energy usage data, financial information and system mapping to produce a report on institutional and community energy usage in the camps. To include comparison and cost analysis of existing energy situation with potential renewable solutions/delivery models and recommendations for the most suitable solution.

g.    Output: deliver high-quality technical data, energy demand analysis and report for institutional and community energy use in all three camps.

h.    Develop community engagement plans and entrepreneurship schemes to ensure livelihood creation, community participation and buy-in for renewable mini-grids, working closely with the Rwanda RE4R technical and field teams.

i.    Assist the Rwanda office in preparing and evaluation of procurement documents (specifications, financial information, rates, delivery models, etc.) for renewable mini-grids.
j.    Assist the project team in procurement and contracting for renewable mini-grids services and equipment. For example, review and evaluate the proposals from suppliers.

k.    Support the Rwanda team in the testing, commissioning, and training for the installation, operation and maintenance (O&M) for mini-grids installation.
l.    Analyse the support the delivery of close-out processes with private suppliers to ensure the long-term financial and environmental sustainability of the intervention.
m.    Ensure effective contract management on site including inspections, testing, quality assurance, and progress monitoring.
n.    Support RE4R Rwanda team on engaging with suppliers, including monitoring, reporting and learning throughout the procurement, set-up and installation periods.

o.    Output: deliver high-quality procurement and contracting documents and supervise installation of mini-grid solutions in Gihembe and Nyabiheke.

Required Skills and Experience

 General Skills

  • At least Masters’ degree in engineering, economics or other technical energy discipline. Preferably electrical engineering or highly technical background and experience in solar technologies.
  • Relevant experience in developing countries (Rwanda preferred) and in a professional environment delivering results to clients.
  • Proven programme design ability, including technical work on large-scale energy programmes and experience of working with complex energy technologies, including off-grid and decentralised renewable energy technologies.
  • Knowledge of energy metering, economic modelling and energy access technologies
  • Strong analytical and numerical skills, familiarity with the data collection and energy demand assessment processes and the ability to synthesize data, present results and draw meaningful conclusions.
  • Confidence in dealing with quantitative data from social and economic research in developing countries, including working with incomplete data sets.
  • Proven high proficiency in Microsoft Excel and data analysis techniques.
  • Excellent communication skills, including proven technical writing and presentation and communication skills.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English is essential.
  • The applicant should be resident in Rwanda (or a proximate country) and be able to travel to Practical Action’s offices in Kigali or undertake fieldwork and data collection in the refugee camps and on site for at least four days a week.

Technical Skills and Experience

  • At least 5 years of experience demonstrating sound knowledge in photovoltaics, testing and commissioning of solar energy systems including grid-connected and off-grid systems, and supervision and monitoring of solar energy systems is preferred.
  • Experience data collecting and analysing information on solar street lighting and renewable mini-grids.
  • Knowledge of off-grid energy access technologies such as solar photovoltaics, rural electrification and mini-grid distribution systems, battery systems, hybrid solar and diesel generation.
  • Experience of metering technologies, energy demand assessments, and quantitative data analysis is necessary.
  • Understanding of financial and delivery models for off-grid mini-grid installations.
  • Proven experience in developing contracts, determining technical terms of reference for procurement, developing specifications for renewable energy products and services, and technical design of tendering processes.
  • Experience of supporting competitive tenders and open calls for the procurement of renewable energy services and products.
  • Understanding of: decentralised energy solutions and energy access issues. Knowledge of small business development in developing countries, pilot and scale up of energy enterprises, energy customers and private sector investment, the range of financial solutions required for inclusive markets to grow, and the types of new models required to unlock private and public capital, flexible debt finance for potential energy enterprises would be an advantage.

BEHAVIOURAL COMPETENCIES

All staff work towards demonstrating excellence and with our core behavioural values. We seek to:

  • Be inspired and inspiring about our work
  • Demonstrate dynamism in what we do
  • Be good at connecting and collaborating
  • Learn and share knowledge
  • Demonstrate creatively in doing their job
  • Be focused on getting the job done

Contractual Arrangements for Roles                                                   

The consultant will work as a technical expert within the RE4R project team to support the delivery of the project, and will be contracted on a consultancy basis (not as a Practical Action Consulting member of staff).

The consultant will be expected to participate in partnership, consortium and project meetings and work from Practical Action’s Rwanda office as needed and in the field or from home for the rest of the time. The balance between office, field-working and home-based working may be expected to vary depending on level of project activity and is negotiable.

A consultancy daily fee will be paid per month, depending on the consultant’s level of experience. Travel and other expenses associated with the assignment will be reimbursed.

 HOW TO APPLY

Interested applicants should submit their Curriculum Vitae, along with a cover letter outlining their relevant experience and day rate to recruitment@practicalaction.or.ke by 16 November 2018. A short skype interview will be held with the RE4R technical team to establish suitability for the role and work is expected to commence in November.