Nigerian, American firms to power 25 communities with solar energy.

Two firms have signed an agreement to provide power to 25 communities across Nigeria using solar energy.

The communities are in Bayelsa, Ondo, Ogun and Osun states.

A Nigerian firm, Community Energy Social Enterprises Limited, CESEL, and its American counterpart, Renewvia Energy Corporation, signed a $767,512 agreement to provide solar energy for the communities on ‘pay-as- you-go’ basis.

The CESEL Managing Director, Patrick Tolani, signed the agreement on behalf of his company while Clay Taber, Managing Director of Renewvia, signed for his firm, at the Power Africa office in Abuja.

The MoU signing was witnessed by Power Africa Coordinator, Andrew Herscowitz, and the United States Agency for International Development mission director in Nigeria, Michael Harvey.

Mr. Tolani said the benefitting communities were those that had no access to electricity for more than 10 years, including Brass in Bayelsa and Magboro in Ogun State.

Others, he said, include Ilajera and Gbokoda in Ondo State and a community which was completely cut off the grid because of isolation in Osun State.

Mr. Taber in his remarks said Renewvia would install and operate micro-grid systems with solar photo-voltaic generation capacity and battery storage in the 25 benefiting communities.

According to him, the design of the micro-grids for the project will include PV panels, string inverters, aluminium racking and energy storage backup power.

He said, “Renewvia and CESEL would sell micro-grid customers electricity by Kilowatts 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 added that Renewvia and CESEL also planned to facilitate the transaction through mobile payments, noting that the project would employ local and remote resources to support the needs of the power plant for each micro-grid.

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

It is expected that the project would provide up to 10 megawatts and connect over 10, 000 households, according to a study by Renewvia.

The project is also expected to be completed in one year.

CESEL is a private Nigerian company that has led the community engagement for six operational micro-grid projects in Nigeria. These micro-grids received funding through the Nigeria Bank of Industry and United Nations Development Programme.

Renewvia is a private U.S renewable energy developer and solar power plant operator established in 2009. Renewvia specialises in providing mini-grid and solar energy solutions for residential, commercial and utility-scale applications.

Micro-grid is a small network of electricity users with a local source of supply that is usually attached to a centralised national grid but is able to function independently.

World Bank Launches Massive Solar Energy Programme In Nigeria

The International Finance Corporation, IFC, a member of the World Bank group in collaboration with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) is facilitating a massive solar energy programme, targeting Small and Medium Scale businesses across the country.

Under the initiative, the Financial Institution with the DFID would deploy off-grid and embedded solar systems in commercial and industrial sectors in Nigeria.

Providing insight into the project, country manager IFC, Eme Essien Lore, at a media briefing in Lagos, yesterday, said a number of financial institutions in Nigeria would be given incentives to provide finances for the programme.

She said studies would be conducted to fully understand the challenges that had stalled similar initiative in the past.

Lore stated that IFC is leading an initiative, creating and facilitating solutions to help increase access to energy at the home and corporate levels in Nigeria.


Togo To Light-Up Towns And Communities Using Solar Energy

Togo’s Ministry of Mines and Energy said on Friday that it will install 13,000 public streetlights in the capitals of regions and prefectures throughout the country by the end of June 2016.
The report said this was in line with the instructions of the Head of State, Faure Gnassingbé.


Explaining progress of the street illumination project, the ministry said that the project, being financed with a loan of 55 million U.S. dollars from Exim Bank of China, entered its second and final phase mid-February.


The project which is been coordinated by the ministry, took off in 2011 with feasibility studies and it is executed by the African Society of Bio fuels and Renewable Energy (SABER).
It said that the project is in partnership with Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment (ZTE) Company Limited of China.


The report said that the project is focused on remote locations not connected to Togo’s electricity network, adding that on its completion, street lights powered by solar energy will illuminate the capitals of regions and townships.


“7,042 streetlights were already installed at the end of the first phase adding that on the president’s instructions, streetlights are primarily installed in schools, high schools, universities, clinics, health centres, markets and finally in public places.


“The life of the battery solar street lights is from 7 to 10 years,” said Abiyou Tcharabalo, Director General of Energy at the Ministry of Energy and Mines.
He said that with solar street lights, the electric charges of the local authorities will be reduced, thus allowing these communities to reallocate their spending to other social needs.
“Togo authorities want to phase out light bulbs of 150 to 250 Watts used today for traditional street lighting.

“For Togo, this is to respect the commitment to more effective protection of the environment made during the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) at the end of last year,” Tcharabalo said.