Solar Energy Development Gains Momentum

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Nigeria is making strides on its pledge to increase power supply through the development of solar energy as an alternative to its abundant oil and gas resources.

Solar energy development in Nigeria has gained another boost. A consortium, consisting of Nigerian-based Nigus Greenenergy and South African Volt Renewables, has engaged into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the federal government for the development of three power plants with a total capacity of 300MW.

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.

Solar energy development equates to 10%

According to a company statement, the power generated will be equivalent to 10% of the total national generation that Nigeria currently produces.

“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 finalised through the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission in the coming weeks,” the company informed ESI Africa in emailed correspondence.

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

Solar inverters

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

Nathan Schmidt from Volt Renewables stated that they are 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.

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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