Nigeria, US companies sign N241.6m solar energy MoU to power 25 communities

Community Energy Social Enterprises Limited (CESEL) has signed a 767, 512 dollars (about N241.6 million) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Renewvia Energy Corporation, a U.S. firm to provide solar energy in Nigeria.

Dr Patrick Tolani, Managing Director of CESEL, a Nigerian privately owned firm signed on Tuesday in Abuja, on behalf of the company while Mr Clay Taber, Managing Director Renwvia, signed for his company.

Tolani said that the MoU was for development of solar microgrids in 25 communities in Bayelsa, Ondo, Ogun, and Osun.

He said the communities to benefit from the projects are those that had no access to electricity for more than ten years which includes Braz in Bayelsa and Magboro in Ogun State.

Others, he said included Ilaje areas and Igbokoda in Ondo State; and a community which was completely cut off the grid because of isolation in Osun State.

Taber in his remarks said Renewvia would install and operate microgrid systems with solar photovoltaic  generation capacity and battery storage in 25 communities in Nigeria.

According to him, the design of the microgrids for the project will include PV panels, string inverters, aluminum racking and energy storage backup power.

“It is expected that the majority of the power offtakers for the project will be residential and commercial end users located within one kilometer of the microgrid generation units that wwill be connected at the time of project construction.

“Renewvia and CESEL will sell microgrid customers electricity by KiloWhats through a “pay as you go” structure.

“The competitiveness of the system helps to ensure payment, as the project would provide consistent and reliable power at a less expensive price than current rural power generation by diesel,” he said.

He said Renewvia and CESEL also planned to facilitate the transaction through mobile payments.

He said the companies would employ local and remote resources to support the needs or the power plant for each microgrid.

The project was supported by Power Africa, a U.S. energy project initiated in 2013 to assist nations in African accessing energy.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency would provide grant funding support to CESEL for feasibility study that would access the rollout of 25 solar microgrids in rural and peri-urban communities across Nigeria.

It is expected that the project would provide up to 10 megawatts and connecting over 10, 000 households. The study would be undertaken by Renewvia

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the signing of the MoU was witnessed by Mr Andrew Herscowitz, Power Africa Coordinator and Mr Michael Harvey, U. S. Agency for International Development mission director in Nigeria.

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