News Investigators/ The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has announced the provision of $550m in funding by the World Bank (WB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support the implementation of its off-grid solution projects.
Mr Ahmed Abubakar, Communication Expert, REA, who made this known in a statement in Abuja, on Monday, added that out of the amount, $213m dollars was for the mini-grid components of both the WB and the AfDB, while $75m dollars was for standalone solar home systems component of the WB.
He further explained that $205m dollars was for Energizing Education Programme (EEP) Phases II and III components of both the WB and the AfDB, while $20m dollars is for the productive use component of the AfDB, as well as $37m dollars for technical assistance.
“The objective of the project is to provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity access to a minimum of 2.5 million Nigerians which equates to about 500,000 households.
“A breakdown of what the programme has achieved so far is in the signing of grant agreements under the mini-grid sub-component, with 13 companies for the deployment of solar mini-grids across 86 sites in off-grid communities,” he said.
Abubakar added that REA had deployed and commissioned seven solar hybrid mini-grids with a total connection of 3,828 and 529.79 kW energy capacity.
He said that the agency also signed grant agreements with 26 companies under the Output Based Fund (OBF) sub-component of the standalone solar home systems for homes and MSMEs.
” REA has also installed 221,971 Solar Home Systems (SHS) in households, micro, small, and medium enterprises as well as public facilities.
“The Rural Electrification Agency (REA), through the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), has been providing off-grid solutions to bridge the electricity gap in unserved and underserved rural communities.
“This includes households, micro, small, and medium enterprises, Federal Universities, as well as healthcare centres across the six geopolitical zones of the country, with the financial support of the WB and the AfDB, respectively.
“The NEP is private sector driven and it provides grant subsidies under its solar hybrid mini-grids, standalone solar home systems and productive use appliance components to bridge the gap in access to electrification.
” And stimulate load demand, whilst also improving the means of livelihood of the consumers, towards making the mini-grid powered communities more attractive and viable,” he said.
Similarly, Abubakar added that REA had also signed contract agreements with eight companies for the deployment of containerized solar hybrid solutions to power 100 Isolation and Treatment Centres (ITCs) under the REA/NEP COVID-19 & Beyond intervention programme.
“REA conducted community engagement exercises in nine states – Ogun, Cross River, Sokoto, Niger, Plateau, Abia, Bauchi, Kano and Anambra – to sensitise and have community buy-in for the sustainability of the NEP mini grid projects.
“REA has also commenced preparations for the deployment of solar hybrid power plants in Federal Universities and Teaching Hospitals, under the Energizing Education Programme Phases II and III.
” REA/NEP calls for more support from the private sector to help bridge the electrification gap by visiting the NEP website @www.nep.rea.gov.ng on how to apply as it concerns the component that best suits their interest and experience,” he said.