World Bank disburses $75million to fund off-grid solar home system projects

World Bank disburses $75million to fund off-grid solar home system projects

Solomon Ezeme

The World Bank has made $75 million available for the provision of solar home systems to households in Nigeria, under the Rural Electrification Agency’s off-grid solution projects.

The information was disclosed today by Mr Ahmed Abubakar, REA’s Communication Expert, in a statement in Abuja. The fund is part of the $550 Million Support for Rural Electrification from two international bodies – World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB).

Mr. Abubakar stated that the fund released is in pursuant of REA’s objective of providing about 2.5 million Nigerians with clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity, through solar mini-grids.

“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.

According to Mr. Abubakar, the REA had earlier signed contract agreements with 8 companies, to distribute containerized solar hybrid solutions to power 100 Isolation and Treatment Centres (ITCs) across the nation, 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 sensitize 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 on how to apply as it concerns the component that best suits their interest and experience,” he said.

He further revealed information about some completed off-grid solar projects by the REA, stating that the agency has, so far, commissioned 7 solar hybrid mini-grids with a total connection of 3,828 and capacity of 529.79 kW, among other similar projects.

“The Rural Electrification Agency 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 World Bank 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.