Solad Power Group, a participant in Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA) mini-grid component under the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), has announced the connection of its 10,000th small business to affordable and reliable power across its portfolio of mini-grids in Nigeria, recording a significant milestone in the company’s growth and development.
The company currently serves as a core investor in the Sura shopping complex in Lagos, the Sabon Gari Market in Kano, joint venture partner in the virtus portfolio of decentralised energy projects across the country and an operator of about 12 mini-grids across Nigeria, each of which provides clean, affordable and reliable power to market traders.
Triggered with the knowledge that SMEs make up 96 per cent of all businesses operating in Nigeria, contributing nearly 50 per cent of GDP and providing 84 per cent of all jobs in the country, Solad focuses on under-served segments of the energy market, prioritising support for the millions of small businesses who struggle with access to unreliable or prohibitively expensive energy solutions. The company consistently references access to electricity as the single most important obstacle that they face.
To accelerate access, Solad has expanded the scope of its operations to include the provision of solar technology solutions for individual businesses, which will be rolled out alongside its integrated mini-grids. An order for the first systems has been placed, with the roll out expected to begin in June 2021.
Commenting on the company’s progress, Yewande Olagbende, Solad Power Group’s Chief Operating Officer and chief executive officer for Nigeria, said Connecting its 10,000th small business is an achievement the company is extremely proud of, and a clear validation of the unmet demand for affordable and reliable power amongst Nigeria’s millions of small businesses.
She added that In addition to the company’s existing investment programme to roll out more mini-grids in market clusters across the country, it is now able to provide individual businesses and homes with dedicated power solutions that can be installed rapidly, fostering rapid expansion of its customer base.
“This is particularly important for households and small businesses which have been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our ability to provide them with reliable power solutions that simultaneously reduce costs as well as mitigating the environmental damage associated with power generation means we can embed a sustainable, long term solution at a time it is most needed,” she added.
Established in 2017, Solad is an investor in and operator of distributed energy solutions that deliver clean, reliable, and affordable power to unconnected, or underserved businesses, and has embarked on an ambitious journey to install mini-grid solutions in 12 more markets across the South West region of Nigeria over the next 2 years, adding more than 20,000 traders to its network.
The Company was approved as a Solar Home Systems (SHS) supplier by the Rural Electrification Agency in December 2020 and is now eligible for the Output Based Grant available under the Nigerian Electrification Project (NEP). Under the grant system, SHS suppliers are refunded 20 per cent for every system installed, as an incentive to support the programme’s target of powering 1 million households and 90,000 SMEs.
The individual solar systems will be rolled out in markets that SOLAD has identified as part of its expansion programme and will enable businesses to access power immediately. Interested businesses are encouraged to register on the solad website to facilitate easier connection.
The company asserts that delivering clean, reliable and affordable power to the hundreds of millions of African households, service providers and businesses that are currently not connected to, or are under-served by the grid, has the potential to have an unrivaled social, economic and environmental impact on the continent, catalyzing growth and driving inclusion.