FG Steps Up Deployment of 19,000 Solar Homes Systems

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By Emmanuel Addeh

The federal government yesterday continued its ongoing deployment of 19,000 Solar Homes Systems (SHS), with the inauguration of an 85KWP Solar Hybrid Mini-grid in Dakiti, Akko Local Government of Gombe State.

The power plant also consists of 100 solar panels, 96 batteries and over 4.5-kilometre distribution network cables and is expected to serve over 1500 people in the area with constant electricity.

Speaking during the event, Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), the implementing agency, Mr. Ahmad Salihijo, noted that the project has been successfully deployed under the First REF Call of the federal government’s Rural Electrification Fund (REF), an initiative designed to promote off-grid electrification and ensure that electricity is equitably distributed across Nigeria.

He stated that having been saddled with the responsibility of powering unserved and underserved communities across Nigeria using off-grid solutions, the federal government had taken the initiative to several states, including Kogi, Kebbi, Ebonyi and Akwa Ibom.

“It might interest you to know that through this first Rural Electrification Fund (REF) Call, we are ensuring electricity access across 12 communities and deploying over 19,000 Solar Home Systems (SHS) across the nation.

“We have commissioned this kind of project in Kogi, Kebbi, Ebonyi, Akwa Ibom and much more across the country. I can confidently tell you it is working and we will continue to do more.

“These interventions are testaments of the federal government’s resolve to improve energy infrastructure across Nigeria, especially in unserved and underserved communities,” he said.

He added that with the deliberate plan to power Nigeria, more communities will be energised across the country under the 2nd Call of the REF as well as other REA programmes.

He noted that the intervention in off-grid communities was key to accelerating true national development as great opportunities abound in communities such as Dakiti, with the availability of sustainable and reliable energy.

Salihijo lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his unwavering support in driving the agency’s mandate that has continued to steer the process of transformation In the energy sector.

In his remarks, Governor of Gombe State, Mr. Muhammad Yahaya, explained that the project confirms the federal government’s agenda to improve electricity access to Nigerians.

He underscored the importance of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the implementation of the project, which he said will ensure clean, safe and reliable electricity in the benefitting communities.