REA Seals 250MW Deal with Husk Energy to Deliver Sustainable Electricity to Underserved Communities

Peter Uzoho

The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) yesterday signed a groundbreaking partnership with Husk Energy, a global leader in decentralised renewable energy systems to deliver 250 megawatts (MW) sustainable energy to millions of underserved rural communities in Nigeria.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the two entities in Lagos, yesterday on the sidelines of the ongoing Energy Access Investment Forum (EAIF) marked a significant milestone in the country’s journey towards universal energy access and sustainable development.

The partnership between the two entities was aimed to establish a long-term strategic relationship that sets a global benchmark for scaling the deployment of decentralised solar power projects, otherwise known as minigrids in Nigeria.

These projects, according to the document made available to THISDAY, were designed to electrify peri-urban and rural communities, including markets, businesses, households, public institutions, health clinics, and schools, in both weak grid and off-grid areas.

Commenting on the partnership, Managing Director of REA, Mr. Abba Aliyu, said, “This MoU signifies a major leap forward in our vision for creating a network of RESCOs that can deliver clean and reliable electricity to even the most remote corners of Nigeria.

“Partnering with a proven leader like Husk Power positions us to not only achieve our ambitious deployment goals but also establish a model that can inspire others around the world.”

He added that the strategic collaboration marked a significant step forward in REA’s ambition to create utility-scale renewable energy service companies (RESCOs).

He noted that by leveraging the Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale Up (DARES) project as a catalyst, the agency aimed to transform conventional project developers into service-oriented entities capable of constructing resilient infrastructure and delivering energy services on a large scale.

Aliyu, maintained that the strategic partnership with Husk Power signalled REA’s commitment to empowering companies to develop a diverse portfolio of mini-grid projects nationwide under the RESCO ethos, thereby significantly advancing the agency’s mission of achieving universal energy access in Nigeria.

“The partnership focuses on the deployment of up to 250MW of Interconnected Minigrids (IMGs), specifically targeting peri-urban and rural communities – including markets, businesses, households, public institutions, health clinics, and schools.

“These IMGs will address the critical need for reliable and affordable electricity in both weak-grid and off-grid areas, aligning perfectly with the “renewable energy scale up” theme of the REA’s DARES project, supported by the World Bank”, he added.

In his remarks, Husk Power Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Manoj Sinha, said, “We are incredibly honored to partner with the REA on this groundbreaking initiative. The combination of REA’s commitment and Husk Power’s expertise creates a powerful force for positive change.

“This partnership will not only deliver electricity access but also empower communities to thrive through the introduction of innovative energy solutions.”

The partners further explained that the partnership extends beyond electricity generation and looks to deepen the impact of energy access in the connected communities through the scaling up of productive use of equipment (PUE) and alignment of value chains to facilitate rural economic growth.

“The MoU sets the stage for cooperation in implementing cutting-edge energy service models like Virtual Power Plants (VPPs), aimed at enhancing energy efficiency and grid reliability. This collaboration will lead to the introduction of value-added products and services within the Interconnected Minigrid (IMG) franchise areas.

“These offerings encompass various initiatives such as: Energy-efficient appliance sales and financing; E-mobility solutions; agricultural processing and cold storage, and E-cooking solutions,” the document stated.

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