Rural clean energy services company Husk Power systems has launched its first six solar hybrid minigrids in Nigeria, in Nasarawa State.
This is the first time a company has rolled out multiple minigrids in one go under the Nigerian Electrification Project (NEP), which is funded by the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) and implemented by Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA).
Husk Power’s Abuja-based team has grown to more than 40 staff members and 50 part-time hires since it entered the Nigeria energy sector in early 2020. The energy services company forecasts a fleet of more than 100 minigrids within the next two years, growing to 500 by 2026. It plans to expand to several other Nigeria states before the end of 2023.
The newly launched minigrids in Nasarawa should provide clean electricity to approximately 5,000 households plus 500 business in Rukubi, Idadu and Igbabo in the Doma Local Government Area and Kiguna, Akura and Gidan Buba in the Lafia Local Government Area.
Manoj Sinha, Husk co-founder and CEO: “Nigeria’s leadership in rural electrification and making minigrids a centerpiece of national energy strategy is a global best practice. Husk Power is proud to be contributing to the government’s vision of public-private partnership to provide clean, quality, reliable electricity that powers economic opportunity for small businesses and households across the country.”
Performance-based grants making a difference to energy access through minigrids
Husk received financial support from Nigeria’s REA in September to develop seven hybrid solar minigrids in Nasarawa, as part of the NEP’s performance-based grant programme. The seventh site will come online in 2022 along with a larger pipeline of projects. Besides providing electricity to Doma and Lafia households and businesses, the minigrids will also support local agricultural activities such as milling, cold chain and irrigation.
Engineer Abdullahi A Sule, Governor of Nasarawa State, said the completion of the six minigrids is an important step in scaling rural electrification and achieving energy access for all Nigerians.
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Ashish Khanna, World Bank Acting Regional Director for Infrastructure, Africa West and Africa East and Practice Manager, West and Central Africa Energy explained it is 2 years ago that the first solar minigrid was commissioned under NEP at Rokota village. “Since then significant progress has been made with 359 private sector led solar minigrid projects under development with the potential to provide electricity to 1.1 million people. Husk Power is now showing the way in scaling, with the first ever deployment of six sites simultaneously under the programme, contributing to their ambition to roll-out 500 systems by 2026. We look forward to jointly continue to move the needle in providing electricity to the 80 million people who don’t have access to this today.”
Besides its core minigrid business, Husk’s local entity Husk Power Systems Nigeria Limited, also installs turnkey rooftop solar for off-grid and weak-grid commercial and industrial (C&I) customers as well as providing energy efficient appliances and equipment for both households and businesses.