West Africa’s first mini grid in Rivers guarantees 24/7 power 10 years later
In 2012, the first mini-grid in West Africa was installed in Egbeke Community in Etche LGA, Rivers State, Nigeria by All On investee, GVE. Wiebe Boer, CEO All On, and Finance Manager Tomilola Olakiigbe recently visited the community to see the 55kw installation.
The solar installation provides 24/7 power to over 600 paying households and businesses, transforming the Etche community.
Stephen Ukaegbu, President General of Egbeke Community was on hand to receive the All On staff and commended the project for the impact it has made in his community and beyond.
“We enjoy light 24 hours a day and are the envy of other communities. They come from other communities and ask to be linked with GVE,” Ukaegbu said.
Even communities within Etche that are connected to the grid where power is very unreliable are interested in getting solar because it is a more reliable option, he said.
The project site was expanded in 2018 and is currently undergoing further expansion to connect more neighbouring communities in the area that desperately need the power.
“There is definitely room for expansion… Over 20 communities have enquired and are interested in getting this service,” said Ukaegbu.
Ifeanyi Orajaka, GVE CEO, and his team are happy to take on the additional work. In his view, this a great testament to the hard work and perseverance that has kept a dream alive since his team built the first mini-grid while students at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
Tomilola Olakiigbe, All On Finance Manager said it was her first time at the historic site she had heard so much about.
“As a member of the All On team, I’m really grateful for the opportunity to see firsthand the impact of our work on communities, businesses and lives” she said.
GVE is a renewable energy services company with a proven track record of service excellence in the provision of clean, reliable affordable and sustainable energy to unserved and under-served regions throughout Nigeria.
This article was written by Adaobi Oniwinde. She is currently the Policy & Partnerships Manager at All On, a role she has held since February 2020