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Firms plan solar power for Magboro, Brass, 23 communities





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 some communities on a ‘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, Renewvia in Abuja.

Tolani said the MoU was for the development of solar microgrids in 25 communities, stating 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, included Ilaje and Igbokoda in Ondo State, and a community, which was completely cut off from the grid because of isolation in Osun State.

Taber, in his remarks, explained that 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, aluminium racking and energy storage backup power.

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

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

“The competitiveness of the system helps to ensure payment as the project will 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 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 is supported by Power Africa, a US energy project initiated in 2013 to assist African countries in accessing energy.

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

It is expected that the project will 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 US Agency for International Development mission director in Nigeria, Michael Harvey.

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