…targets universities, teaching hospitals in Nigeria
Global money lender, the World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB), in collaboration with the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) under the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), have commissioned multiple solar off-grid power plants, with a total capacity of 134.64 kilowatts (kW) in communities in Bayelsa State.
The project, which comes in off-grid renewable power system, is worth a total $550 million, with the global money lender contributing $350 million, while the AfDB committed $200 million.
The NEP components are solar hybrid mini-grids, solar home systems (SHS) and energizing education programme (EEP) an initiative through a Rural Electrification Agency (REA) for unserved and under-served communities in the country.
The communities are Akipelai and Oloibiri in Bayelsa State with electricity capacity said to cater for 30,000 micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) and 300,000 households in both communities under the NEP. The NEP is a Federal Government programme that seeks to provide energy access to households and enterprises in off-grid communities across Nigeria, through renewable power sources.
The two systems include 134.64kW of solar PV, 180kWh of lithium battery storage and two units of 100-kva diesel generator sets. The solar-powered hybrid mini-grids would provide clean, safe and reliable electricity to thousands of people; and spur economic growth in Akipelai and Oloibiri communities, respectively.
The hybrid plants have been commissioned under the Performance-Based Grant (PBG) component of NEP. The Nigeria Electrification Project is an innovative programme to catalyse off-grid development in Nigeria, through the provision of grant funding, detailed market data and technical assistance in collaboration with the World Bank.
Renewvia Energy Corporation, a recipient of performance-based grants (PBGs) from the REA through the World Bank-funded Nigeria Electrification Project successfully developed the two solar hybrid mini-grids.
The mini-grids utilize lithium-ion battery storage to provide reliable power throughout non-daylight hours, and are designed to scale up as individual household and communal power demand increases.
Ahmad Salihijo, managing director and chief executive of REA said the agency is committed to scaling up reliable and sustainable energy access to rural unserved and underserved communities through provision of grants to mini-grid developers, which he said, is the intent of the Federal Government through the NEP.
He said that after signing two PBG agreements with Renewvia Energy, the agency was delighted to see the completion of the two projects; while looking forward to commissioning more sustainable electrification solutions in Nigeria’s rural communities by grant beneficiaries.
Jon Exel, the World Bank task team lead, said the solar hybrid mini-grids in Akipelai and Oloibiri will boost the local economy and improve the quality of life in both communities, through electrification of homes, schools, and businesses.
He said, through the NEP, reliable electricity will be provided to unserved and underserved households, MSMEs, universities and teaching hospitals in Nigeria.
“The project’s mini-grid component specifically aims to develop solar hybrid mini-grids to serve 300,000 households and 30,000 MSMEs with clean, safe, affordable and reliable electricity. Together, the World Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria are determined to transform the power sector with the goal of increasing electricity access for all Nigerians,” he stated.
Trey Jarrard, chief executive officer of Renewvia Energy, said the company was pleased to help fulfil the bold ambitions of NEP, an important effort to bring clean, safe and affordable energy to communities in Nigeria that need it most.
“We are proud of Renewvia’s state-of-the-art microgrids which have the ability to scale with the needs of each of these villages; and we look forward to expanding our work in Nigeria in the near future.”