Solar Power Coming To 10,000 Nigerian Homes Thanks To Microgrids

70% of people living in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to a conventional electrical grid. Even if they did, the service is often interrupted by a variety of factors. Now, Community Energy Social Enterprises Limited, a Nigerian company, and Renewvia Energy Corporation, an American firm, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide solar power to 25 communities across Nigeria using local microgrids. The communities are located in the Nigerian states of  Bayelsa, Ondo, Ogun, and Osun. The microgrids are expected to be operational by the end of this year and have a total capacity of 10 megawatts.

solar power for LED lightsPhoto by © SolarAid

Clay Taber, managing director of Renewvia, says the microgrids will include PV panels, string inverters, aluminium racking, and energy storage backup power. He adds that Renewvia and CESEL will sell electricity to microgrid customers through Kilowatts, a “pay as you go” microfinance company. “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 says.  Most customers send about $6 a month for electricity from a solar microgrid.

The project is supported by Power Africa, a US energy project initiated in 2013 to assist African countries in accessing energy. CESEL is a private Nigerian company that has led the community engagement for 6 operational microgrid projects in Nigeria that have received funding through the Nigeria Bank of Industry and United Nations Development Program.

Renewvia is a private US renewable energy developer and solar power plant operator established in 2009. Renewvia specializes in providing minigrid and solar energy solutions for residential, commercial, and utility-scale applications.

Solar energy in Africa is not used to power air conditioning, electric cars, or hot tubs. It is used to provide LED lighting at night so people continue to do business after the sun sets, so the streets are lit to deter crime, and so school children can do their schoolwork at night without breathing toxic fumes from kerosene lanterns. One solar light can transform the life of a family that has never known the wonders of electrical energy. Solar power can also be used to charge cell phones, which helps people connect with each other and helps the development of cohesive communities.

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Source: AllAfrica.com

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writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Rhode Island. You can follow him on Google + and on Twitter.
  • Oliver Sylvester-Bradley

    The image you have used above in this post about “Solar Power Coming To 10,000 Nigerian Homes Thanks To Microgrids” actually belongs to SolarAid and is not copyright free. That means you have to ask us and get our permission before you use it… but you haven’t done that 🙁 Nor have you used the correct image credit which explains the photo remains our copyrighted property. Please can you either change the image or contact SolarAid as soon as possible to correct this error? Thank you