A beacon of distributed solar light

  • Oct 13, 2021
  • PV Magazine

Near the center of Nigeria lies the Jos Plateau, which gives its name to Plateau State. The region’s mountainous geography means it has proved difficult to electrify using conventional means. Huawei’s Microgrid Solar Solution, however, has proved indispensable in delivering reliable power to settlements and industry across the state.

According to World Bank statistics, as of 2019, only 55.4% of Nigerians had access to electricity, meaning approximately 85 million Nigerians do not. A statistic made more startling when one realizes Nigeria is set to surpass the United States in population by 2050, becoming the third-most-populous country on the planet.

Hence why the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), which receives funding from the World Bank and the African Development Bank, commissioned a 234 kW solar hybrid microgrid in the Shimankar Community of Plateau State.

Shimankar is a farming village on the banks of the River Shimankar. Traditional rulership of the village resides with His Royal Highness Miskoom Maurice Manu Danjuma III. His Royal Highness attended the ribbon-cutting event for the completion of the solar minigrid in October 2020, thanking all those involved for this great aid to local businesses. “Our businesses are now fully operational – especially at night,” he said. “Our businesses are growing; we can buy and enjoy cold beverages in the provision shops. Today is indeed the beginning of better things to come for Shimankar.”

The project, which consists of 234 kW of solar, 236 kWh Huawei lithium-phosphate batteries, 200 kVA Huawei Powercube microgrid inverter and diesel backup generator, was installed by Green Village Electricity (GVE), a specialist in solar minigrid solutions throughout Nigeria. GVE projects limited CEO, Ifeanyi Orajaka, said the project’s aim was to provide reliable electricity to 1,972 households, 273 commercial users, five productive users, and 19 public users. “It’s a thing of pride that GVE, an indigenous Nigerian firm, can be a part of developing Nigeria’s rural areas,” said Orajaka. “Thanks to this project, Nigerian solar developers, like myself, can access these investment opportunities in growing Nigeria’s evolving offgrid sector.”

REA CEO Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad reiterated the sense of pride and fulfillment felt by GVE’s Orajaka, saying that “as an agency, we are responsible for powering unserved and underserved communities, therefore, it is fulfilling every time homes, businesses, schools and medical centres are connected to sustainable solar power. Almost immediately, we are able to witness rural communities being transformed with clean energy through the jobs that are created during construction, to their micro and small businesses scaling to larger capacity thanks to reliable electricity.”