September 24, 2008
Safaricom Kenya Approves VRB Energy Storage Systems(TM)
RICHMOND, BC, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- VRB Power Systems Inc. (TSX-V: VRB) announces the completion of the trial period and acceptance of two 5kW x 4hr VRB Energy Storage Systems ("VRB-ESS") sold to Winafrique Technologies Ltd., of Kenya ("Winafrique") in November 2007. The systems were tested in two remote cellular telecommunications sites in Kenya with Safaricom Limited, the leading mobile telephone operator in Kenya.
The approval of these systems signifies the potential roll out of several hundreds of systems at cellular telecommunications sites throughout East Africa. Winafrique has identified an initial 300 sites in Kenya alone.
In addition to an immediate reduction in diesel fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions, the installation of the VRB technology will enable telecommunication providers to integrate a significant amount of variable wind generation at these remote sites, further reducing the dependence on fossil fuels. Additional benefits include lower diesel engine maintenance costs and an extended life of the overall systems.
"The VRB technology has allowed us to achieve a 70 percent reduction in diesel usage over the last month alone," says Mr. Michael Chavanga Director of Winafrique. "These results indicate considerable cost savings and will help us reach both reduced generator runtimes and operations & maintenance targets sooner than anticipated."
Safaricom, like other telecommunication groups in Africa, are moving toward integrating energy storage systems and eventually alternative forms of energy like wind and solar to power cellular sites to reduce the expense and environmental impact of rising diesel costs, high maintenance requirements of diesel generators and lead acid batteries and concerns over diesel emissions. As a distributor of the 5kW VRB-ESS in Kenya, Winafrique has arranged to sell, install and integrate the systems at cellular sites; monitor and service the systems and further provide some of the electrical components.
"The immediate benefits of using the VRB technology for energy storage is clearly demonstrated here," says Tim Hennessy, CEO of VRB Power Systems. "It has the unique ability to cycle rapidly and deeply, with minimal impact on system life while performing multiple functions from the same."
Safaricom Limited is Kenya's current leading Mobile Telephone Operator. It was formed in 1997 as a fully owned subsidiary of Telkom Kenya. In May 2000, Vodafone Group Plc, the worlds largest Telecommunication company acquired a 40% stake and management responsibility for the company. Safaricom's aim is to remain the leading Mobile Network Operator in Kenya.
In the modern world of globalization, Safaricom has been able to keep pace with the global mobile telecommunications market by having strategic business associations which help in meeting the dynamic challenges of the modern mobile telecommunications world. Its strategic association with the world leaders in mobile telephony has created a niche in the Kenyan market. Safaricom announced net profits of $220million in the last financial year.
Winafrique Technologies Ltd is an integrated renewable energy resources company incorporated in Kenya in 2001 with the objective of providing efficient and sustainable alternative energy solutions for Africa and to meet the challenge of generating electricity on a cost effective, sustainable and environmentally friendly basis.
Currently involved in the provision of hybrid and alternative power in remote areas, Winafrique is the most reliable supplier of high end renewable energy power products and solutions in the region. Winafrique represents a number of international companies as their distributor and authorized installer and has provided unique power solutions for remote site installations for over 5 years. Winafrique evaluates project specifics, proposes viable and cost effective solutions and specializes in the installation, commissioning and maintenance of installed systems. Its product lines include wind, solar and micro hydro power solutions, as well as energy storage and hybrid power systems.
About VRB Power
Headquartered in Richmond, Canada, VRB Power Systems Inc. is an energy storage technology developer which is marketing, selling and manufacturing products utilizing the patented VRB Energy Storage System ("VRB-ESS(TM)"). The VRB-ESS can economically store and supply large amounts of electricity on demand and is focused on stationary applications. It is a long life, cost effective, low maintenance, efficient technology that allows for the scalability of power and storage capacity independently. The VRB-ESS is particularly beneficial to renewable energy providers, utilities and end users through its ability to "inventory" electricity, allowing for the optimal match of supply and demand.
The VRB-ESS is well suited for a variety of applications. Enabling the provision of "firm" capacity from intermittent renewable generation such as wind and solar; more cost effective and efficient generation of electricity in remote areas; capital deferral for utilities; and load levelling (peak shaving) applications. The VRB-ESS is also capable of providing backup power solutions including applications for utility sub-stations and telecommunication sites. The VRB-ESS is characterized by having the lowest ecological impact of all energy storage technologies and is unlike most other conventional energy storage systems that rely on substances such as lead or cadmium.
Caution regarding forward-looking statements: VRB Power's press releases may contain forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management's current expectations and beliefs which are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties (including, but not limited to, the risk factors described in VRB Power's Annual Information Form filed with the British Columbia Securities Commission and available at http://www.sedar.com/) that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in our forward-looking statements. The Company does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release.
The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. Vince Sorace President
VRB Power Systems Inc.
CONTACT: VRB Power Systems Inc. at (604) 247-3300, Investor Relations at(604) 247-5001, Or visit the company's web site at: http://www.vrbpower.com/