Global energy specialist, Schneider Electric, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Canadan energy firm, EM-ONE Energy Solutions, to deliver 30 mini-grids to power hospitals in Kaduna State.
The initiative is to support the university and enhance rural electrification in the country. Under the MoU, Schneider would provide support to EM-ONE, while the energy firm delivers the project to the Kaduna health institutions.
A mini-grid is an integrated local generation and distribution system with installed capacity below 1 megawatt (MW), capable of serving numerous end‐users independent of the national grid.
The Vice, Business Development, Africa and Middle East, Schneider Electric, Mr. Paul-Francois Cattier, was quoted in a statement to have said the group has for the last 18 months been working to set up an industry based on mini-grids built or operated by local stakeholders.
He said 700 mini-grids had already been set up in various communities across Africa under its Access to Energy Programme.
Cattier said: “EM-ONE Energy Solutions has already won a contract for 30 mini-grids in Nigeria to power hospitals in Kaduna State, and is also targeting the university and rural electrification market.
“The MoU concerns Schneider’s support with optimising the architecture of these projects and developing an industrial platform to integrate these mini-grids into containers in Nigeria and manufacture Schneider Electric mini-grid solutions under licence.
“Rather than importing mini-grids produced in Europe, Asia or North America, we want to create an African mini grid industry with operators, integrators, investors and local jobs. Schneider Electric will provide them (EM-ONE) with advice on setting up an industrial plant and testing.”
Cattier added that there were growing opportunities in the African energy market, with companies operating in various industries making the switch to hybrid energy solutions via mini-grids.