Nigeria to build 28 solar plants in universities, hospitals

As part of its revised rural electrification program, Nigeria has said it will build 28 new solar farms in her public universities and hospitals.

The plants, it said will in turn supply electricity to rural communities that are situated around the universities and hospitals to power their homes and small holding agro-industries.

Minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola disclosed this plan when he showed a scorecard of what his ministry had done in the last one year, and the plans it will pursue in 2017.

He said the president, Muhammadu Buhari has approved a revised rural electrification plan of his ministry, adding that it will now centre on using renewables to provide electricity for rural homes and industries.

Fashola said the plan will help the government replace 1,105 generators that are used in the universities and hospitals.

“Going forward we intend to roll out our rural electrification implementation program which Mr. President has now approved as required by the law,” said Mr. Fashola.

He explained: “Our objective is to improve access to power for rural communities. You will have heard of our education intervention project, which is indeed a rural electrification implementation project.”

“We are using universities as one of the anchors because they are in rural areas and they represent a quick way to penetrate the rural areas and also expand to villages and towns in rural areas, close to the universities.

“We are starting with 37 federal universities and seven teaching hospitals, to which we plan to deploy 37 independent power plants of nine gas plants, and 28 solar plants to guarantee a cumulative 120MW, to replace 1,105 generators that are producing a wasteful 210 MW.

“We have done the audits and planning of all the schools and if we get financing authorization we can implement, to provide access to power to our people in the rural areas.”

The second anchor of our rural intervention, he noted will be the use of small hydro dams that are in the rural areas to generate electricity to support agriculture and agro-processing.

He stated that the approval for the first 6 small hydro dam projects is pending for consideration by the Federal Executive Council.