Firm, Ogun community partner on minigrid to electrify 600 households
Solar Nigeria for the People Limited (Solar Nigeria FTP), the Nigerian subsidiary of Solar Philippines has signed a Community Agreement with Ode Omi Community to invest about half a million dollars to build a large rural mini grid.
Signing the agreement, the Country Director of Solar Nigeria FTP, Dr. Tobi Oluwatola in a statement, said the project when completed, will electrify 634 households, seven schools, three hospitals, eight religious organizations, and more than 90 businesses in the community.
The project which is due to be commissioned in September 2019 will supply a peak load of 99kW to the community in its first phase, and up to 500kW in its second phase.
Giving highlights of the benefits of the project to the community, Dr. Oluwatola explained that the company plans to train and employ more than 50 youth from Ode Omi Community in the construction phase and also employ security personnel from the village as well as empower existing recharge card vendors to make additional revenue from selling prepaid meter credits for the mini grid in the operations phase.
“Other benefits to the community will include free street lighting and better health and education outcomes as hospitals can have necessary cooling, heating and lighting solutions and children will have light to study at night. Women also would not have to travel long distances to fetch water and wood as electric stoves and water pumps will replace firewood and stream water,” Dr Oluwatola added.
Oluwatola noted that the Ode Omi project is the first out of hundreds to be constructed by his company, just as he assured of his firm’s commitment to work with Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to build interconnected mini-grids that will supply many areas in urban centres.
“This is the first of many. Our goal is to build 100 minigrids in our first year and to also work with DISCOs to build interconnected mini-grids that will supply previously underserved urban areas. We think that with solar today being cheaper than diesel (and gas in some countries), it is unconscionable that Nigerians continue to endure power cuts when we can aggressively deploy solar to solve the problem at scale. Our aim is to end energy poverty everywhere it exists,” he said.
Speaking for the community, Oba Adenuga Beyioku Okuniyi (Ojafoyewa II) thanked the company for building its pilot mini-grid in Ode Omi community.
He stressed the importance of the community and its rich history going back to Oduduwa, the ancestral father of the Yoruba people, one of whose direct descendants reportedly founded the Ode Omi dynasty.