Mabushi Solar Project Wins Award

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Funke Olaode

Nigeria made history in United Kingdom on November 16, 2021, when EM-ONE Energy Solutions’ Mabushi Solar Project won the African Solar Industry Association’s (AFSIA) award for Best Commercial and Industrial Solar Project of the Year.

The award was part of Africa Energy Forum 2021 – a forum for donors, government stakeholders, financiers and other industry experts actively working in the continent’s energy sector.

The Mabushi Solar Energy project, spearheaded by the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, and executed by EM-ONE Energy Solutions is an advanced solar microgrid system that has 1.52 MWp PV and 2.28 MWh energy storage and powers multiple office buildings of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Works and Housing in Abuja.

The Minister’s vision of providing renewable energy in Nigeria’s public office through his commitment has not only helped in solving the Ministry’s reliance on polluting diesel generators thereby reducing carbon emissions, it is also in line with the UN Paris agreement on SDG Goal 7 on Sustainable Energy.

In his remarks at the award ceremony, attended by the Special Adviser to the Minister on Sustainable Infrastructure (Works), Engr. Olufemi Akinyelure, Chief Executive Officer of EM-ONE Energy Solutions, Mr. Mir Islam said, “This award is a testament of the vision of the Nigerian Federal Government and its’ commitment to investing in the energy transition and sustainable development.”

Describing the project as “just the beginning”, Islam, who expressed pride at having delivered “such an exceptional project, despite delays and challenges caused by the pandemic”, added, “Fashola’s projection into the future and provision of clean energy by EM-ONE Energy Solutions’ is an example of public sector investments in renewable energy in Nigeria.

“This project was conceptualised under the leadership of the Mr. Fashola when the Ministry was merged with the Power Ministry. It was then designed and built by EM-ONE Energy Solutions while it was fully funded by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.”

According to him, “While the project was ongoing, investments were made across the projects’ design and implementation to showcase renewable energy and microgrids as the leading technical solution to address Nigeria’s energy availability and reliability challenge.”

The EM-ONE Energy Solutions’ boss said the project included a complete electrical retrofit and upgrade – that has reduced energy consumption by 40 per cent adding that the system uses Tesla’s energy storage solution, the Power pack and its’ advanced microgrid controller, which, according to him is “saving the off-takers 76 per cent on their annual energy expenditure”.

The project, he said, created over 500 direct and indirect jobs over the course of its implementation.

Describing Nigeria as an economic powerhouse on the African Continent, the Energy CEO, who said the project formed part of the Federal Government’s ambitious commitment to have 10 per cent of its total power derived from clean energy by 2025.

Islam said: “With this feat, the Hon. Minister Fashola has shown doggedness and philosophy in the decentralization of electricity as a way to resolve Nigeria’s power problems.

“This award is a testament of the vision of the Nigerian Federal Government and its’ commitment to investing in the energy transition and sustainable development – this project is just the beginning. For our team, we are extremely proud to have delivered such an exceptional project, despite delays and challenges caused by the pandemic.”

Also speaking, Chief Executive Officer of Renewables in Africa and a member of the award’s jury, Tony Tiyou, said, “If there was ever an ounce of a doubt that Solar is on the move in Africa, it would have certainly disappeared after my experience as a jury for the awards. The full display of talent, innovation, and dedication left me speechless. More than ever I’m confident for the future.”

In his keynote address at the commissioning of the project in Mabushi few months ago, Fashola had said the objective was for Nigerians to see renewable energy as a way to cut cost and save the environment from pollution aside the direct/ indirect jobs it creates for Nigerian youths.

And responding to the award, Fashola, who praised the dedication and commitment of the Federal Government to support the Solar cause, dedicated the award to President Buhari for supporting his vision.

Fashola said: “I think this award must deservedly be dedicated to President Muhammadu Buhari who as leader of the administration supported the investment in off grid power.

“He showed a firm commitment to youth involvement in public service and made possible the entire positive spin offs in terms of job creation, technological growth and cleaner energy from the delivery of the project. To my colleagues in the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and all the public officers who worked with the team from EM – ONE to make the project a reality, l also thank you for supporting the vision.”