On Tuesday, two American energy companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Federal Government of Nigeria to develop a 1 200MW solar power plant as an efficient solution to expanding electricity access across the region, PV magazine reported.
The agreement was signed with New Generation Power (NGP) a large scale renewable energy developer and Motir Seaspire who expect to begin construction next year and have the plant fully operational within the next 2 years, should everything go according to plan, PV magazine reported.
The project is said to cost around US$4 million with an expected generation output of 590 400MW annually.
With nearly 60 percent of Nigerians without electricity, this project will have positive effects on local content. The general health and education standards will improve and there is opportunity for job creation and skills development.
Jafer Hasnain, Partner of Motir Seaspire was optimistic about the significant contributions which the project will make towards economic development and growth.
‘To build bridges between Nigeria, the United States and West Africa in the area of renewable energy specifically solar power in a manner that benefits the people of Nigeria and improves Nigerian energy infrastructure, with the proven global and local expertise of Motir Seaspire and New Generation Power’, Hasnain said, PV magazine reported.
Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria, NGP chairman echoed Hasnain’s feelings:
‘Gaining access to electricity can be life-changing. We are confident our knowledge and experience of creating large-scale solar projects will ensure a successful project…
The NGP family hopes this introductory project will act as a benchmark for innovative and environmentally-friendly renewable energy projects across Africa that will alter day-to-day life for millions of people’, he said.
Nigeria is one of the continent’s largest growing economies today, developing solutions to combating their challenges at an exponential rate. The renewable sector has large potential for solar power and the government is drafting plans to exploit this resource and drive the economy even further to new heights.
Minister of Power, Prof Dr. Chinedu Nebo highlighted that this project supported the President’s vision for Nigeria to become a solar powered nation, PV magazine reported.
‘We must support this project, as it will be in tandem with the President’s long-time wish for Nigeria to enjoy its abundant solar potential, especially those in rural areas, as it is envisioned that through a project like this, they would be linked to micro or mini-grid systems’, Nebo said.