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Nigeria to boost solar energy development

Nigeria to boost solar energy development

The Nigerian Government says it is making progress in efforts increase power supply through the development of solar energy as alternative to its oil and gas resources.

The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nigerian-based Nigus Greenenergy and South African Volt Renewables, for the development of three power plants with a total capacity of 300MW, under plans to boost solar energy development in Nigeria.

Babatunde Fashola
Babatunde Fashola, Federal Minister of Power, Works and Housing

Volt Renewables has declared that the three power plants will each add 100MW capacity to the national grid and are set to be commissioned in 2017.

The plants are to be located in the northern states of the country including Yola in Andamawa State, Kano in Kano State and Birnin in Kebbi State.

The power generated will be equivalent to 10% of the total national generation that Nigeria currently produces, according to the solar power company.

“The off-taker under the power purchase agreement (PPA) will be the National Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET) of Nigeria. The PPA is expected to be finalized through the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission in the coming weeks,” the company said.

Prince Malik Ado-Ibrahim of Nigus Greenenergy pledged to provide renewable energy in bids to enable the development of the Nigerian economy particularly in the northern region, which is said to have a substantial deficit.

“Our consortium partners believe that solar energy is the perfect solution for these states, which are blessed with strong solar resources as power plants have the ability to be commissioned quickly and on a distributed basis and can make a real difference to the local economy,” Ado-Ibrahim said

For the execution of this project, the consortium will collaborate with German solar inverter manufacturer, LTI ReEnergy, to supply the technology.

Nathan Schmidt from Volt Renewables says the company is excited to take part in adding the much needed capacity to the Nigerian electricity grid.

The solar energy projects are expected to be funded by a combination of own equity [from the consortium], technology providers and international private equity funders, according to the promoters of the business.

Volt Renewables disclosed that it is currently in negotiations with the consortium and will announce the funders once negotiations are finalised. Financial close is expected to take place in Q4 2016.

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Donatus Anichukwueze Technology Writer at Technology Times Media e-mail: donatus.anichukwueze@technologytimes.ng