Nigeria’s presidential initiative to provide solar systems to 20,000 homes

A presidential initiative for solar home systems set up by the Nigerian federal government will seek to provide off grid electricity to 20,000 rural homes, starting from Wuna Gwagwalada in Abuja.

OGN gathered that the initiative which would be launched on January 31, 2017 by Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, will support the deployment of 20,000 small-scale household solar systems to rural communities in the country.

The effort is to provide access to sustainable and alternative power solutions to address the immediate power requirements of these rural homes. The government had in the past executed similar programme, though its success was not evaluated.

This is however dubbed ‘beyond the grid’ and would enjoy funding supports from the Niger Delta Power Holding (NDPHC) Limited. The NDPHC is jointly owned by the federal, states and local governments as a special purpose investment vehicle set up to bridge the capacity gap in Nigeria’s power sector.

It built 10 gas power plants in the south of Nigeria, with complementary distribution and transmission infrastructure, and has shown interest in taking over the construction of identified hydro power projects in the north of the country. The company recently got into the renewable energy sector of the country.

As stated by its Managing Director, Chiedu Ugbo in 2016, it would invest into the country’s renewable energy sector to extend power supply to rural communities without electricity. And in July 2016 signed a partnership deal with Azuri Solar Power Nigeria Limited on this.

“Let me state at this point, that NDPHC is actively involved in the presidential initiative on rural solar home lighting systems where 20,000 units of Solar Home Systems (SHS) in underserved rural areas with no access to grid electricity supply is being implemented.

“In July this year (2016) NDPHC signed a partnership contract with Azuri Technologies Group/Azuri Solar Power Nigeria Limited for this presidential initiative designed to achieve in 12 months’ deployment of all SHS units to the identified communities/beneficiaries. A new department is now in place to drive this initiatives,” Ugbo stated then.

According to the NDPHC, the systems to be launched are designed for the needs of small rural households that are completely unconnected to the grid. They have the capacity to power four light bulbs, a radio, and torchlight, and come with a USB port with charging cables for mobile phones.

They can also provide up to 8 hours of lighting, home phone charging and clean, reliable, off-grid power.