Nigeria’s GVE to invest N85m in restoring electricity to 220 Akwa Ibom households

*50kW capacity solar PV mini grid project ready in 8 weeks

Green Village Electricity (GVE) Projects could in about 8 weeks complete its installation of a 50 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) mini grid, and subsequently restore electricity supplies to 220 households in Akpabom, a community in Akwa Ibom state.

The community has reportedly stayed without electricity for an upward of 15 years now as a result of bad grid, and Akwa Ibom government is looking to launch its solar electrification scheme from there, but with a different community electrification approach.

Managing Director of GVE, Mr. Ifeanyi Orajaka, disclosed this in an email exchange with OGN. Orajaka, stated that the sod-turning ceremony for the project which is promoted by his firm and the state government on a 75% and 25% equity contribution would be done on Thursday at Akpabom.

He explained that the new mini grid project was part of GVE’s pursuit of its plans to ensure that it provides clean, reliable and affordable electricity to a minimum of 2% of Nigeria’s population by the year 2022.

He also noted that the Akpabom project would be unique in that it was the first time GVE would build a solar mini grid in a community with bad grid connection, thus indicating that the community could go off grid at the project’s completion.

“GVE Projects Limited will tomorrow flag off a 50kW PV solar mini-grid rural electrification project in Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the Akwa Ibom state government,” said Orajaka.

He added: “The project which in hinged on commercial and social sustainability will mark the beginning of a paradigm shift in state-driven rural electrification initiatives across the country as well as serve as a reference for nationwide rural electrification programs.

“The 50kW system is designed to provide reliable power to all the 220 household inhabitants of Akpabom community in addition to small businesses within and outside the community.”

Adopted operational model

Orajaka, noted that under the adopted PPP model, the state government will provide a 25% equity contribution in addition to land, right of way (RoW) and operational permits, while GVE will provide 75% of the project budget and will build, own, operate and maintain the system.

“A local content intermediary, Videst Energy Limited will provide facilitatory and intermediary support towards the successful implementation of the project. Users will be metered on a Pay-as-You-Go (PAYG) basis using a mutually agreed tariff model,” he stated.

On the project cost and completion timeline, he said: “The project execution is expected to last for a period of 8 weeks. Turnkey cost is N85 million.”

Recently, the state’s science and technology commissioner, Dr. Nse Udo Essien, confirmed the community had being without electricity for years.

He explained the government was interested in changing the narrative, and would start off its solar electrification scheme with the community. According to him, the mini grid would be handed over to the community after 10 years of operation by GVE.