Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has announced that it completed the first phase of the installation of solar power at five major airports in the country as alternative source of electricity in order to check incessant power failures on its navigational aids (NAVAIDS) with the total Solar project costing about N280 million .
These airports include Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Bida enroute station.
Chairman, Stormberg Power Limited, Chief Tunde Morakinyo, told the Managing Director of MAMA, Nnamdi Udoh, at a brief handing over ceremony at the agency's head office in Lagos that the project was completed as scheduled.
The contractor described the hybrid power system in the country as first of its kind in the sub-Saharan Africa, promising that the second phase of the project would commence early in the New Year.
He explained that each of the sites had 24 solar panels with 15 KVA hybrid inverter. The system has 18 batteries for all the NAVAIDS except the VOR and this can last for 12 hours. For the VOR, the backup batteries are 36, which have the capacity to run the system for between 15 and 18 hours.
Udoh described the project as another milestone in saving money and diversifying the agency’s power source to Solar.
“It is a project that has been on-going and is now fully completed and we are now using it. It is saving us the huge amount we used to spend on diesel to power generators and the down-time we used to experience due to power failure.
"So, it is thing of joy. We will continue to explore how we are going to deploy it in other areas apart from its current usage for navigational aids which is the pilot scheme in six airports/locations. The solar power is solely for navigation/landing aids only for now in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Bida and Enugu where we have major issues as regards constant power supply to the runways/air field lighting’’.
The project covers the training of NAMA staff in the electrical/electronics department to take charge of operations of the solar power system.
Slomberg Power Limited said it was delighted to be associated with the project, assuring that the solar units supplied and installed for NAMA were of high quality which would tremendously ensure uninterrupted power supply to NAVAIDS and thereby enhance safety while saving the agency millions of naira spent monthly to purchase fuel for generators across all the airports.