The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a contract to Skipping Stone LLC, which provides consulting and technology services to energy markets worldwide, and Experient, a global event company, to host in a reverse trade mission a dozen government and senior utility representatives from four African nations interested in improving their countries’ electricity grids and providing “off grid” solutions to regions where grid power doesn’t exist.
Rebecca Kelly, a spokesperson for Skipping Stone in the company’s Atlanta office, told Global Atlanta that the countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Kenya are experiencing similar pressures in their electricity sectors as they seek to expand economic growth and provide services to under-served communities.
The representatives are interested in meeting with suppliers of relevant technology, equipment and services, according to Jay Catasein, one of Skipping Stone’s principals, who is organizing meetings with Georgia offices of GE, Siemens, ACS and other providers.
“Atlanta is a hub of technology,” he said, adding that the representatives, who are to be in Atlanta March 1-2, would be interested in meeting with a wide range of firms involved in developing electrical grids and harnessing sources of power such as solar, wind and energy storage.
He also told Global Atlanta that USTDA provides an impressive rate of return on U.S. taxpayer dollars generating $95 in U.S. exports for every $1 spent on its programs. Although the agency doesn’t make investments in the equipment, it does provide reverse trade missions and feasibility studies that are then presented to funding organizations such as the World Bank or the African Development Bank, which become the basis for overseas programs.
The USTDA is an agency involved in the overall U.S. Power Africa Initiative to connect U.S smart grid supplier with projects to modernize the electricity grid in cities in Sub Saharan Africa and to bring microgrid solutions to remote areas on the continent.
In addition to Atlanta, the African representatives are to visit with firms in Washington, and Houston that design, manufacture and operate goods and service supporting energy sector goals.
Headquartered in Boston, SkippingStone has offices in Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, Tokyo and London.
Experient is a Maritz Global Events Co., that will be coordinating the meetings and accommodations for the visiting representatives.
For more information or to register for a meeting with the representatives, contact Ms. Kelly by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 770-558-2757.