Amosun commissions 85kw solar power plant for rural dwellers
The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has commissioned an 85kilowatt power (KWP) solar mini grid project in Gbamu Gbamu, Ijebu East Central Local Council Development of the State.
This is part of the rural electrification goal of the Federal Government through the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP).The project, which intends to serves about 490 homes with a total of about 2,500 rural dwellers in the community is a private venture jointly financed by the European Union (EU), and the German Government with technical support from the United States Agency for International Development(USAID).
The mini grid is one of the five pilot projects implemented under the NESP, which would provide electricity to over 10,000 people across five states (Ogun, Cross-River, Plateau, Niger, and Sokoto).
According to the Senior Advisor on Sustainable Energy Access, (NESP), Olumide Fatoki, the Gbamu Gbamu solar mini grid is an off-grid setting estimated at about N200million, and seeks to provide 24 hours of power to the community at cheaper tariff compared to unconventional ways of electrification.He cited that an average home in the community would be paying between two to N5,000 monthly, which according to him is cheaper than an on-grid connection.
Speaking at the event, Amosun, who commended the partners in the project, revealed that the state has entered a partnership for the development of a 15-megawatt mini power plant in Abeokuta, which would be upgraded in phases.
The Governor explained that the partnership was informed by the zeal to invest more in power generation and distribution, as over 500 units of electric transformers have been given out to different communities in the state.
“But the provision of electricity goes beyond the provision of transformers which only focuses on distribution,” he added.To be responsive to the energy needs of the citizenry, and promote rural electrification as well, Amosun said governments must be propelled to venture into alternative means of power generation, particularly renewable green energy such as solar.
The Chief Executive Director, Rubitec Solar (company in charge of technology deployment), Bolade Soremekun, explained that the facility would serve 407 metered customers, 462 single phase connections and 25 three phase connections and the PV system would generate 190,000 kilowatts hour yearly of electricity transmitted and distributed across 5.2 kilometres of grid for different categories for business and households.
He identified financing as a major challenge for rural electrification projects or renewable energy in the country. “Is not easy to come by, hence, Nigerian banks and financial institutions should be urged to support renewable energy industry, because it is the only hope and mode for rural electrification in Nigeria.”