With almost 800 million people globally lacking access to electricity, most in rural communities, novel solutions are needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 7 of universal access. Millions of these people are living in Nigeria, and those who are connected to the grid often endure intermittent supply—less than 12 hours a day without power.
This interview was originally published in African Power & Energy Elites 2021.
The Abuja-based solar energy provider Havenhill Synergy Limited, on a mission “to end blackouts in Nigeria”, is partnering with the country’s Rural Electrification Agency to increase energy access with hybrid mini-grids. Havenhill Synergy Ltd’s latest and largest mini-grid deployment is in Budo Are community in Itesiwaju Local Government Area of Oyo State in South-Western Nigeria.
The community, having a population of about 4,000, is comprised primarily of miners of precious stones such as mica, tourmaline and amethysts. Agricultural activities, trading and small businesses such as welding make up the rest. While relatively prosperous and with a fair transportation network accessible by buses, cars, and motorcycles, Budo Are has been off the grid. With the nearest distribution network approximately 30km away, most businesses have been reliant on petrol generators for their electricity needs.
The deployed solution, delivered through a private-public partnership, is comprised of 100kWp of solar PV and 316kWh of energy storage supplied over a distribution network of 4.5km – sufficient to power over 400 households, 50 private businesses and public buildings including mosques, churches and schools.