Nigeria, US firms to power 25 communities with solar energy

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Two firms have signed a memorandum of understanding to power 25 communities in Bayelsa, Ondo, Ogun and Osun States with solar energy.

A Nigerian firm, Community Energy Social Enterprises Limited on Tuesday signed a $767, 512 MoU with Renewvia Energy Corporation, an American company to provide solar energy for the communities on ‘pay-as- you-go’ basis.

The CESEL Managing Director, Dr. Patrick Tolani signed the agreement on behalf of his company with Mr. Clay Taber, Managing Director Renwvia in Abuja.

Tolani said the MoU was for the development of solar microgrids at 25 communities, hinting that communities to benefit from the projects were those that had no access to electricity for more than 10 years, including Brass in Bayelsa and Magboro in Ogun State.

Others, he said include Ilaje and Igbokoda in Ondo State and a community which was completely cut off the grid because of isolation in Osun State.

Taber in his remarks said Renewvia would install and operate microgrid systems with solar photovoltaic generation capacity and battery storage in the 25 benefiting communities.

According to him, the design of the microgrids for the project will include PV panels, string inverters, aluminum racking and energy storage backup power.

He said, “It is expected that the majority of the power oftakers for the project would be residential and commercial end-users located within one kilometer of the microgrid generation units that would be connected at the time of project construction.

“Renewvia and CESEL would sell microgrid customers electricity by KiloWhats through a ‘pay as you go’ structure.

“The competitiveness of the system helps to ensure payment, as the project would provide consistent and reliable power at a less expensive price than current rural power generation by diesel.”

He said Renewvia and CESEL also planned to also facilitate the transaction through mobile payments, noting that the project would employ local and remote resources to support the needs of the power plant for each microgrid.

The project was supported by Power Africa, a U.S. energy project initiated in 2013 to assist African countries in accessing energy.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency would provide grant funding support to CESEL for feasibility study that would access the rollout of 25 solar microgrids in rural and peri-urban communities across Nigeria.

It is expected that the project would provide up to 10 megawatts and connect over 10, 000 households, according to a study by Renewvia.

The MoU signing was witnessed by Power Africa Coordinator, Andrew Herscowitz, and the United States Agency for International Development mission director in Nigeria, Michael Harvey.

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