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Nigeria-US sign a new clean energy agreement

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By Usman Oladimeji

360 rural areas, others will benefit from the Nigeria-US deal.

Nigeria has made rapid strides toward adopting renewables and sustainable energy, following an agreement on clean and reliable energy between the Nigerian Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and Sun Africa LLC, the largest US renewable energy company operating in Africa. The development of 5,000MW of solar power generating and 2,500MWh of battery energy and storage power plants has been earmarked for at least 360 rural areas and 16 others around the country.

Garba Shehu, Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, disclosed that the agreement was signed on Wednesday in Washington, DC, by Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, and Adam Cortese, CEO of Sun Africa, in the presence of President Joe Biden’s Special Presidential Coordinator for the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, Amos Hochstein. This is a significant developmental action penned between the two countries towards achieving the ultimate objective of clean energy.

Nigerian gov’t to collaborate to build a smart meter infrastructure.

Furtherly, in a Friday statement titled “Nigeria, US firm sign agreement on clean, reliable electricity,” Shehu revealed that the agreement includes a Development and Engineering, Procurement, and Construction implementation framework for the construction of solar generation and battery, energy storage power plants for up to $10bn investment from the US government. In addition, President Muhammadu Buhari restates that the country has established the vision 30:30:30 as part of the National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy to generate 30 GW of power by 2030 and have renewable energy account for 30% of the energy mix.

Moreover, the president called on the United States to support achieving the target. Shehu said that the top US and international solar EPC firm, Sun Africa, Sterling and Wilson Renewable Energy Limited, has been working with the Nigerian government to build interconnection, electrification, and smart meter infrastructure for both large-scale grid-connected solar projects and smaller-scale mini-grids across the country. He added that Sun Africa is also implementing solar cabins and solar home systems where the mini-grids are not economically viable to ensure the most comprehensive approach to access electricity.

The project is scheduled to be implemented in phases.

Phases of the project will be implemented in each of the six geopolitical zones, eventually bringing clean, dependable, and cost-effective power to over 30 million people. Phase one of the project, taking place in Q1 of 2023, includes Geregu, Kogi State (174 MWp PV size and energy storage of 82MW (24 MWp PV size and energy storage of 11MWh); Gombe, Gombe State (270 MWp PV size and energy storage of 128MWh); Gwagwalada, FCT (143 MWp PV size and energy storage of 68MWh); Lafia, Nasarawa State (350 MWp PV size and energy storage of 166MWh).

The schedules follow Akwa, Anambra State (143 MWp PV size and energy storage of 68MWh); Bauchi, Bauchi State (143MWp PV size and energy storage of 68MWh); Damaturu, Yobe State (150MWp PV size and energy storage of 70MWh); Dutse, Jigawa State (150 MWp PV size and energy storage of 70MWh); Ganmo, Kwara State (143 MWp PV size and energy storage of 68MWh); Kaduna, Kaduna State (180 MWp PV size and energy storage of 80MWh); Kano, Kano State (174 MWp PV size and energy storage of 82MWh); Kebbi, Kebbi State (174 MWp PV size and energy storage of 82MWh); Yola, Adamawa State (174 MWp PV size and energy storage of 82MWh).

All technical and financial requirement for the project have been set.

The first five sites for the grid-connected solar projects that will have up to 961 MWp of solar and 455 MWh of battery energy storage has been completed. Following this, all of the financial conversations have been concluded, and the terms of funding for up to $2 billion are now being completed by ING Bank, US EXIM Bank, the Federal Ministry of Finance, and the Debt Management Office.

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