Govt partners firms on 1GW solar power development project

30 December 2014, Abuja – The Federal Government said it will directly engage with prospective project developers to set up renewable energy projects in the country.

In a bid to realize this ambition, the federal government has received pledges from three companies to set up 1 gigawatt, GW solar power capacity in the country. The companies are solius NGPC, Peoples Home Association and Solar Force Nigeria Limited. The whole programme entails large utility-scale power projects as well as distributed power projects.

Solar energy panels.

Solar energy panels.

Peoples Home Association said it will set up 500 MW of capacity across the country, to be added in five tranches of 100 MW each. Solar Force Nigeria Limited will set up 200 small-scale projects of 1 MW each in as many villages as possible.

Solius NGPC is expected to set up the balance 300 MW capacity. However, the size and type of the projects is unknown. The company said it will also set up a training centre for power sector professionals. Peoples Home Association will also set up solar research centers across universities in Nigeria to help generate about 10,000 jobs in the solar power sector.

The federal government has pledged full assistance to these companies and will provide them with land and a transmission network, and it will help the companies meet regulatory requirements for setting up the projects.

With these fresh MoUs, the total solar power capacity pledged by various companies in Nigeria this year is expected to be more than 5 GW.

Earlier this year, SkyPower FAS Energy signed a series of agreements to set up 3 GW of solar power capacity in the country. This capacity would be added through utility-scale projects and represents an investment worth $5 billion.

In late November, two US-based companies pledged to set up a total solar power capacity of 1.2 GW by 2017. The projects will require a cumulative investment of $2 billion dollars and once operational will generate enough power to meet the demands of 1 million homes in the country.

Also, a consortium of American investors in renewable energy, under the auspices of Motir Seaspire, had earlier signed a memorandum of understanding with the federal government to deliver in two years 1,200mw of solar powered electricity in Nigeria.

The Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, who made this known explained that the proposed solar technology to be installed is guaranteed United States standard, assuring that the consortium has the capacity to increase the scope of the project up to 10,000mw in the next five years.

– Vanguard

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