• Monday, July 22, 2024
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REA to build over 1000 mini-grids for off-grid communities

ELECTRICITY

The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has disclosed plans to build over 1,000 mini-grids in off-grid communities through the third grant of its Rural Electrification Fund (REF) to strengthen energy access in Nigeria.

According to REA, a key component of the Nigerian Electrification Programme (NEP) and the Minimum Subsidy Tender (MST) programme is to catalyse the Nigerian off-grid market while aiding the deployment of solar hybrid mini-grids at scale.

REA added that the NEP’s Solar Hybrid Mini Grid component supports the development of private sector mini-grids in unserved and underserved areas with high economic growth potential.

Ahmad Salihijo, managing director and CEO of REA, said during the Rural Electrification Fund Call-3 Bidders Workshop in Abuja that the electrification of rural areas through off-grid is to create an enabling environment to facilitate investments in various ways, including access to data, policy support, grants, capacity development, and financing.

Read also: Solar mini-grids seen helping investors optimise agricultural value chain

“The agency’s goal of providing and increasing energy access to millions of Nigerians through renewable energy is critical if we are to deliver the economic benefits that will spur rural economic growth and development in Nigeria,” he said.

“Testimonies from the commissioning of various REA projects, including REF calls, have proven that renewable energy technology, its economics, and its business models work.”

According to Salihijo, REA will continue to leverage off-grid renewable energy potential to transform more rural communities across the country through REF Call 3.

“We expect that over 1,000 mini-grids will be built in the next few years, in tandem with other REA programmes and initiatives, as well as the recently announced intervention of the president to deploy five million solar-based connections across Nigeria through the Economic Sustainability Plan,” he said.

On his part, Magaji Abdu, deputy director of REF, said the project has led to the creation of 19,310 home systems and 138,000 homes connected with 16 mini-grids completed.

“The grant to be given to the developers would ensure reduced tariffs for users while they enjoy quality power,” Abdu said.