An NRECA International engineer has created a software application that is helping a Liberian electric cooperative better analyze key data about energy sales, consumption and generation.
Aaron Mineen, NRECA International’s senior engineer in Liberia, said he developed the app for the Totota Electric Cooperative to bring crucial information together in one place and make it easily accessible to the co-op’s management and to NRECA International.
Before Mineen created the app, the co-op was using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to analyze data, a process the engineer described as “quite a tedious task.” Mineen, who loves computer programming, worked about three hours a night for a total of 300 hours to develop the app, which displays key indicators on a dashboard.
“TEC management is quite excited about it because they can easily access transaction and operation data without going through large Excel files,” he said. “The monthly sales figures and the generated kilowatt-hours are automatically calculated and easily available to them.”
In the next few months, Mineen plans to add a feature that displays the number of kilowatt-hours generated by the co-op’s solar panels and diesel generator.
Luis Arismendi, NRECA International’s country director for Liberia, said he knew Mineen’s app was going to be successful the minute he heard about the idea.
“Aaron is a young and motivated engineer who is always thinking of incorporating modern technologies to improve day-to-day activities,” Arismendi said.
The dashboard is the latest boost for a co-op that has been a success story for NRECA International. Totota Electric Cooperative became self-sufficient in less than two years, serving as a model of sustainable power that could lead to more co-ops in the West African nation. The co-op was initially funded with about $700,000 in donations to NRECA International.
Mineen’s app is “exactly the kind of creative problem-solving we encourage in all our projects,” said Dan Waddle, NRECA International’s senior vice president. “I hope the TEC Dashboard can be used as a model for other utilities we work with in different countries.”
Erin Kelly is a staff writer at NRECA.