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TechnologyTesla's Powerwall batteries keeps Zimbabwe's mobile money on

20:40  13 september  2019
20:40  13 september  2019 Source:   qz.com

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Zimbabwe turns to Tesla batteries to keep its top mobile money player running as a power crisis deepens. Zimbabwe ’ s biggest mobile operate, Econet Wireless is having Tesla batteries installed at its base stations around the country as a backup to electricity shortages currently hitting the country.

Why Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe Remains Mired in Misery: QuickTake. The installation of 520 Powerwall batteries , with two going into each Econet’ s mobile - money system Ecocash has 6.7 million active users in a country of 14 million people. It is used for everything from buying groceries to tipping waiters.

Zimbabwe’s biggest mobile operate, Econet Wireless is having Tesla batteries installed at its base stations around the country as a backup to electricity shortages currently hitting the country.

Tesla's Powerwall batteries keeps Zimbabwe's mobile money on© Provided by Atlantic Media, Inc. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk reveals the Tesla Energy Powerwall Home Battery

The power utility company, Zesa (Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority), early this year, introduced 18-hour long load shedding schedules to contain the situation as it is producing less electricity due to low water levels in Lake Kariba, the country’s largest source of power, exacerbated by drought.

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By Simon Alvarez. Posted on September 2, 2019. Tesla ’ s Powerwall 2 batteries are helping Zimbabwe change the landscape of its local telecom networks. Zimbabwe is a country that usually faces a shortage of physical cash.

Source: Tesla Batteries Are Keeping Zimbabwe ’ s Economy Running – Bloomberg. Mobile money is dominant in country with 18-hour power outages. Econet installing Tesla Powerwall batteries at base stations. A Tesla Powerwall battery at an Econet site in Harare.Photographer: Cynthia R. Matonhodze.

Zesa, which also relies on importing power from neighboring countries, owes South Africa’s Eskom around $23 million in unpaid bills. At present Eskom supplies 400 megawatts to Zimbabwe which is not enough to restore the situation to normalcy.

Zimbabwe has had cash shortages as its economy continues to fall and mobile money is essential for most daily transactions by Zimbabweans. Large chunks of the country’s economy runs through electronic systems and mobile money, which is dominated by Econet’s Ecocash with 95% market share. It’s estimated around 5 million transactions a day moving more than $200 million.

Tesla's Powerwall batteries keeps Zimbabwe's mobile money on© Provided by Atlantic Media, Inc.

A woman counts bond coins at a mobile money shop in Harare, Zimbabwe, January 23, 2019.

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Tesla Powerwall batteries , costing ,500 each, are charged by the sun and can power a station for as long as 10 hours, according to mobile phone firm Econet [File: Bloomberg]. Zimbabweans are relying on Tesla Inc. to help them pay their bills. Amid power outages of as long as 18 hours a day

The installation of 520 Powerwall batteries , with two going into each base station, is the largest Zimbabweans are relying on Tesla Inc. to help them pay their bills. Base stations in Zimbabwe Econet’ s mobile - money system Ecocash has 6.7 million active users in a country of 14 million people.

All this means local mobile network base stations need to always be on regardless of electricity shortages. In July, Econet generators failed to kick in after a power outage forcing a mobile money blackout for a day. Most citizens were stranded and economists estimated the country lost millions of dollars.

With fuel shortages and unstable prices, mobile operators are finding it hard to use diesel-powered generators to back up their stations and have turned to the Palo Alto, California-based automaker and storable-energy company Tesla to provide them with batteries to keep providing services to their subscribers.

Tesla’s larger-than-life founder Elon Musk, who was born in neighboring South Africa, launch the Powerwall in 2015. The residential version is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery designed to be mounted in a garage or on the side of a house. The device, the size of a small refrigerator can store power from a home’s solar panels, or connect to the electrical grid, storing up electricity when rates are low and providing backup electricity supply in case of a blackout.

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Zimbabweans are relying on Tesla to help them pay their bills. The installation of 520 Powerwall batteries , with two going into each base station, is the largest telecommunications project in which Tesla has participated to date, Moyo said. Econet’ s mobile - money system Ecocash has 6.7 million

Latest Energy News. Power . Tesla batteries are keeping Zimbabwe ’ s economy running. Tesla is working with a number of telecommunications companies around the world and sees a combination Econet’ s mobile - money system Ecocash has 6.7 million active users in a country of 14 million people.

Tesla's Powerwall batteries keeps Zimbabwe's mobile money on© Provided by Atlantic Media, Inc.

Coming to a base station near you?

The lithium-ion batteries stores energy and can stand up to 10 hours, enough time to power up a station until electricity supplies are restored in some parts of the country and Econet-owned solar specialist Distribution Power Africa (DPA) is currently doing the installations.

The commercial Powerwalls which costs $6,500 each will be used when solar panels cannot generate enough electricity during the night or when there is bad weather.

DPA chief executive officer Norman Moyo recently told Bloomberg his company is installing 520 Powerwall batteries, with two going into each base station of the 1,300 base stations in the country. He said base stations power supplies were critical considering that for transactions to run in Zimbabwe telecom network should be up adding that “Telcoms have become the lifeblood of the economy.”

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