REA commissions solar power for 3,000 people in Niger

300MW renewable energy power plant
File: Solar power plant

The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) said it is commissioning a solar hybrid mini-grid power plant in Rokota Community of Niger State that will serve the homes of 3,000 people.

The project slated for commissioning on Saturday is the first to be implemented under the World Bank supported Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP). It will provide clean, safe and reliable electricity to an expected three thousand 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 NEP aims to provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity to 300,000 homes and 30,000 local businesses in Nigeria through the provision of grant funding and technical assistance supported by the World Bank’s $350 million fund and another $200 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Commending the initiative, the Village Head of Rokota Community, Alhaji Adamu Mohammed Rokota expressed appreciation to the Federal Government and other stakeholders for deploying the solar hybrid mini-grid project.

The Managing Director, REA, Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi emphasized the importance of access to electricity. Ogunbiyi said, “We are also committed to using renewable energy in the reduction of annual greenhouse carbon emissions by 25,000 metric tons. This is in adherence to Nigeria’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.”

The World Bank Nigeria Country Director, Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, reiterated the bank’s commitment to promoting universal access to electricity.

“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,” he noted.

The Managing Director of PowerGen Renewable Energy Nigeria Limited, Mr. Alastair Smith who implemented the project through a grant said the firm delivered the project in two months.

Smith said: “I am proud to say that the mini grid, with a total installed capacity of 64 kilowatts (KW) and 360 kilowatt hour (KWh) 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.”

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