The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced a grant commitment of $767,512 to support the development of renewable energy in Nigeria.
The funds, which are aimed at the development of solar micro grids in 25 communities across the country, were received by a local private company, Community Energy Enterprises Limited (CESEL).
According to local media This DAY, the announcement was made on Tuesday by USAID mission director, Michael Harvey.
Harvey was speaking in Abuja during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between CESEL and Renewvia Energy Corporation; a US-based renewable energy developer.
“CESEL and Renewvia will be signing a MoU together outlining their cooperation on the projects to develop solar microgrids at 25 communities across Nigeria.
“Power Africa and United State Trade Development (USTDA) will witness and announce their support at the MoU signing as this project is an example of Power Africa support for the addition of 60 million new electricity connections for African residential consumers,” he said.
Harvey said Power Africa, a US-government-led initiative, will provide funding support to the CESEL for a feasibility study that “would assess the rollout of 25 solar microgrids in rural and peri-urban communities across Nigeria totaling up to 10MW and connecting over 10,000 households.”
Renewable energy benefits multiple communities
Commenting on the development, CESEL managing director Dr. Patrick Tolani, highlighted that the benefiting communities include those that are completely off-grid and those that have had no access to electricity for more than 10 to 15 years, media reported.
Tolani said the communities include Brass in Bayelsa State, Magboro in Ogun State, Ilaje and Igbokoda in Ondo State.
Meanwhile, the managing director of Renewvia, Clay Taber, said: “Renewvia and CESEL would sell microgrid customers electricity by KiloWhats through a ‘pay as you go’ structure.
“The competitiveness of the system helps to ensure payment, as the project would provide consistent and reliable power at a less expensive price than current rural power generation by diesel.”