The federal government through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), has facilitated the inauguration of a solar hybrid mini grid power plant in Rokota Community, Edati Local Government Area, Niger State.
The project which comes on stream today is the first under the World Bank supported Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP). It will provide clean, safe and reliable electricity to an expected 3000 people in the community.
Rokota is a farming community in Edati Local Government Area of Niger State, whose economic activities include shea butter farming, palm fruit. The community is the first beneficiary of renewable off grid electricity under the Nigeria Electrification Project Mini Grids component. The component aims to provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity to 300,000 homes and 30,000 local businesses in Nigeria
The Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency (REA) is tasked with the electrification of unserved and underserved communities. The Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) is an innovative programme to catalyse off grid development in Nigeria, through the provision of grant funding, detailed market data and technical assistance, in collaboration with the World Bank ($350m) and African Development Bank ($200m). The NEP components are Solar Hybrid Mini Grids, Solar Home Systems (SHS) and the Energizing Education Programme (EEP.
Commending the initiative, the Village Head of Rokota Community, HRH, Alhaji Adamu Mohammed Rokota, expressed appreciation to the federal government, the World Bank and PowerGen for deploying the solar hybrid mini grid in the community.
Emphasising the importance of using off grid electrification technologies to increase electricity access in Nigeria, the Managing Director, REA, Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi said, “there are countless investment opportunities in the off-grid market.
This is why the REA is collaborating with private sector solar developers. We are also committed to using renewable energy in the reduction of annual greenhouse carbon emissions by 25, 0000 metric tons. This is in adherence to Nigeria’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.”
Corroborating Ogunbiyi, World Bank Nigeria Country Director, Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, reiterated the World Bank’s commitment to promoting universal access to electricity. He noted that “the World Bank is committed to reducing the consumption and use of fossil fuels in energy production through renewable energy investments. Through various renewable energy projects across the world, the Bank ensures that there is an increase in universal access to electricity especially in underserved and unserved communities.”
Managing Director of PowerGen Renewable Energy Nigeria Limited, Mr. Alastair Smith, said the implementation of the project was made possible by the Nigeria Electrification Project, under the Performance-Based Grant “we have been able to deliver this solar hybrid mini grid power plant within 2 months.
I am proud to say that the mini grid, with a total solar capacity of 64KW and 360KWh of battery storage, was delivered based on international best practice and standards while also using local labour, and provides sufficient power for about 3,000 people.