Beginning from the last quarter of 2016, solar energy projects worth $2.5 billion will be undertaken in Nigeria that will add 975 megawatts of electricity to the national grid when completed in the next 12 to 18 months.
In order to see these projections through, the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) on Monday signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) with 12 solar energy firms, ten of which are foreign energy companies, while the remaining two are Nigerian companies.
The projects are to be sited in eight different states across the country, based on their combined geographic and economic viability, with respect to solar energy development and deployment to end users, said Waziri Bintube, acting managing director/chief executive officer of NBET.
The states selected, receive high solar intensity throughout the year, and include Katsina, where three solar plants will be sited; Kaduna, where two solar plants will be constructed; and Jigawa, where one plant will be located.
There will also be one solar project each in the states of Sokoto, Bauchi, Enugu, Nasarawa, and Plateau.
One of the companies, DuSable Capital, is building a solar plant of 100mw in Enugu, at the cost of $150 million.
Shomik Dutta, the company’s co-founder and managing director, said the project will provide electricity to 170,000 homes upon completion, as financial close for its takeoff is expected to be reached in Q4 2016.
Dutta also noted that commercial operations will commence at the plant, one year after the financial close has been reached, since such projects are quick to build, as compared to thermal, hydro or gas fired power plants.
Another company, Afrinergia Power Limited, signed a PPA with NBET for the construction of a 50mw power palnt at Kokona in Nasarawa State and is planning to evacuate energy from its facility into Abuja using the Apo-Akwanaga evacuation line.
“This project is expected to be completed within the next 12 to 18 months and will cost $100 million to build,” said Mathew Igbalajobi, the CEO of Afrinergia.
It will be funded by the EUROEXIM Bank in the UK, Ecobank, European Bank, AEE Power of Spain, and ABB of Italy, who will build the substations.
For Nigeria Solar Capital Partners, who are working on building a 135mw solar power station in Bauchi State worth $200 million, work will commence by Q2 2017 with a projection for completion within a span of 15 months, said Joel Abrams, the company’s managing director.
In Katsina State, Pan Africa Solar said the PPA it signed with NBET will pave way for it to build a 75mw solar photovoltaic power project at a total cost of $146 million.
The project to be commissioned in 2017, will sell its power for a tariff of 11.5 cents per kwh and is expected provide energy for 1.1 million Nigerians.
“Over 500 local people will be employed during the 12 month construction period and it is estimated that more 40,000 new jobs will be created from the additional economic activity stimulated by the power plant,” Olumide Sanya, technical project manager for Pan Africa Solar explained.
According to Marcus Heal, the CEO of Pan Africa Solar, “the company is developing a 1,000 megawatt portfolio of solar projects in Nigeria and is planning on bringing more than $1 billion of investments over the next five years.”
(Culled from Business day)