Determined to provide uninterrupted electricity to unserved and underserved communities across the country, the Federal Government of Nigeria, through its Implementing Agency, Rural Electrification Agency (REA) will today commission a 100KW solar hybrid mini grid power plant in Akpabom Community in Akwa Ibom State.
Akpabom is a community in Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State with a population of over 2,000 people, with viable economic activities include fishing and cassava farming.
The project, the third to be commissioned under the Rural Electrification Fund (REF), is part of the Federal Government developmental goals to provide clean, safe, affordable and reliable electricity for the community members.
With this newly installed basic amenities, Akpabom Community now joins Upake (80KW) in Kogi State and Kare-Dadin Kowa and Tsulaye (98.8KW) in Kebbi State in experiencing social and economic progress thanks to the solar mini grids project under the REF.
According to Damilola Ogunbiyi, managing director/CEO, REA, as an agency, the REA has the responsibility for powering unserved and underserved communities, therefore, it is fulfilling every time homes, businesses, schools and medical centres are connected to sustainable solar power.
To Ogunbiyi, “With this project, we are able to witness rural communities being transformed with clean energy through the jobs that are created during construction, to their micro and small businesses scaling to larger capacity thanks to reliable electricity.”
Ifeanyi Orajaka, CEO, GVE Projects Limited, while enumerating the benefits of the newly installed mini off grid, said the installed mini grid comprising a total of 306 solar panels and a distribution network cable of 5.5KM, would adequately energise the community.
Orajaka further said 58 jobs were created as a result of local labour. “It is a thing of pride that GVE, an indigenous Nigerian firm, can be a part of developing Nigeria’s rural areas. Thanks to this project, Nigerian solar developers, like myself, can access these investment opportunities and participate in growing Nigeria’s evolving off-grid sector.”
The first call of the REF will energise 12 communities with solar mini grids and deploy 19,000 Solar Home Systems (SHS).
The REA is the implementing agency of the Federal Government tasked with the electrification of unserved and underserved communities.
The REF provides equitable access to electricity across Nigeria to maximize the economic, social and environmental benefits of rural electrification grants, to promote off-grid electrification, and to stimulate innovative approaches to rural electrification. REF projects are administered using a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.