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Quaint President Durodola and USTDA Director Zak Conclude the Signing Ceremony. Pic Credit: USTDA

On Tuesday, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari secured a grant from the United Stated Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) for the development of a solar power project in Northern Nigeria.

The solar power project will add 50MW of clean and affordable power to the Kaduna state. In addition, the project has the potential to attract over $160 million (ZAR2 billion) of public and private capital.

The agreement was signed by USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak and Nigerian renewable power project developers Quaint Global Energy Solutions President, Mobolaji W. Durodola, USTDA said in a statement.

Zak commented: “This project is a great example of how the U.S. and Nigeria are working together to increase electricity access under President Obama’s Power Africa initiative.

“By working together on projects like this one, we can ensure that more Nigerians have access to renewable energy.”

Durodola said: “USTDA’s support is a step in the right direction for the development of much-needed clean and renewable energy capacity for Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.

“Quaint is happy to receive this grant and is committed to adding value, talent and energy into the Nigerian power sector.”

Driving renewable power

According to the USTDA, Quaint is working with a US-based energy project developer, Tetra Tech ES on a feasibility study to determine the optimal configurations for the solar power project.

Tetra Tech will extend its services to provide training for Quaint employees in order to facilitate development and operation of the solar power plant.

USTDA said in a statement: “The USTDA-sponsored feasibility study will include the development of initial costing for the project’s engineering, procurement and construction, as well as the preparation of an operations and maintenance scope and budget.”

US investment in Africa power

USTDA’s partnership with Quaint is in line with the objectives of Power Africa, a US government-led initiative, which has the vision and mission to increase electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa.

According to Power Africa the initiative has already raised over $20 billion (ZAR248 billion) from the private sector for new on and off-grid power projects in the Sub-Saharan region.

UK gov calls for EOI for solar power project

In other news this week, ESI Africa posted a tender revealing that the Department for International Development (DFID) based in the UK is calling for expression of interest for solar developers and solar contractors to pre-qualify for the Supply And Installation Of Decentralised Solar Energy Systems (a commercial solar pilot) In Kano And Kaduna, Nigeria.

The SolarNigeria Programme is an initiative of the DFID, which is working towards bridging the gap between public-private markets for distributed power in the Northern states of Nigeria in particular.

The solar power pilot project aims to demonstrate the technical and financial viability of solar power solutions for the Nigerian power industry.