18 November 2014, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – A consortium of American investors have announced plans to generate over 1,200 megawatts of solar-powered electricity in Nigeria over the next two years, with a capacity to expand to 10,000 megawatts in five years.
The consortium, operating under the auspices of MOTIR SEASPIRE, which signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo in Abuja, stated that it has a portfolio of over $5 billion to invest in solar power generation in the country.
A statement from the ministry explained that while the project site was yet to be known, the proposed solar plant would be installed with guaranteed US standard on solar panel technology.
The president of the consortium, Nigerian-born Emmanuel Irono, said the $5 billion fund portfolio for the project could be accessed over a period of five years into the integrated renewable energy project.
He said the initial 1200MW will be realised in the next two years, adding that the local content component of 80 per cent Nigerians will make the country the hub of its activities in Africa.
“As a compatriot, the concern for providing employment to the teeming populace will be a plus to the company’s quest for provision of training for the Nigerian workforce in the power sector in general and renewable energy in particular,” he said.
Responding after signing the MoU on behalf of Nigeria, Nebo expressed his excitement that a compatriot is making such efforts in harnessing the vast potentials of solar energy in Nigeria.
He added that studies have shown that Africa is greatly endowed with solar put at over three times the capacity of all other renewable energy sources combined.
The minister also commended the American group for taking the bold step. He insisted that the Nigerian government will work to fast track the project by helping the group leverage further on the Power Africa initiative of US President Barrack Obama with funding.
“We must support this project, as it will be in tandem with Mr. President’s long time wish for Nigeria to enjoy its abundant solar potentials especially those in rural areas, as it is envisioned that through a project like this, they would be linked to micro or mini grid system,” Nebo said.