Energy firm launches solar hybrid mini-grids in 6 Nasarawa communities

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Energy firm launches solar hybrid mini-grids in six Nasarawa communities

Energy firm launches solar hybrid mini-grids in six Nasarawa communities

Story from Abah ADAH, Abuja

Husk Power Systems, a leading rural energy services company, has launched six solar hybrid mini-grids in parts of Nasarawa State, North-Central Nigeria.

Recall that Husk Power signed agreements under the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) to electrify seven communities, all in Nasarawa State, with solar hybrid mini-grids.

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The agreements, which were fully executed on 15 September, fall under the Solar Hybrid Minigrid Performance-Based Grant (PBG) sub-component of NEP, a project funded by the World Bank and the African Development Bank.

The agreement was signed between the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and the company’s Nigerian entity, Husk Power Energy Systems Nigeria.

The project targeted a total of about 5,000 connections that will benefit households, small businesses, medium-scale agro-processing and public institutions in Doma Local Government Area (Rukubi, Idadu and Igbabo) and in Lafia Local Government Area (Kiguna, Akura, Gidan Buba and Sabon Gida).

It is the first time that a company has rolled out multiple mini-grids at one time under the Nigerian Electrification Project (NEP), an initiative funded by the World Bank and the African Development Bank and implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).

Husk Power established its presence in Nigeria in early 2020, and its Abuja-based team has grown to more than 40 staff, with more than 50 part-time hires in the communities that it serves, even as it forecasts a fleet of more than 100 mini-grids in Nigeria within the next 24 months and expansion to about 500 mini-grids by 2026.

“Nigeria’s leadership in rural electrification and making mini-grids a centrepiece of the national energy strategy is a global best practice,” said Manoj Sinha, Husk co-founder and CEO.

“Husk Power is proud to be contributing to the government’s vision of public-private partnership to provide clean, quality, reliable electricity that powers economic opportunity for small businesses and households across the country.”

Speaking, the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr Abdullahi Sule said, “The completion of six mini-grids by Husk Power Systems in Nasarawa State is an important step in scaling rural electrification and achieving energy access for all Nigerians.

“It is with great pride that Nasarawa State has collaborated with Husk Power and the federal government through the Rural Electrification Agency to implement these impressive projects, which will ensure clean, safe and reliable electricity for the communities in Rukubi, Idadu, Igbabo, Kiguna, Akura and Gidan Buba.”

World Bank Acting Regional Director for Infrastructure, Africa East and West, Ashish Khanna, said, “The World Bank is a proud partner of the government’s Nigeria Electrification Programme (NEP).

It is 2 years ago that the first solar mini-grid was commissioned under NEP at Rokota village, since then significant progress has been made with 359 private sector-led solar mini-grid projects under development with the potential to provide electricity to 1.1 million people.

Husk Power is now showing the way in scaling, with the first-ever deployment of 6 sites simultaneously under the programme, contributing to their ambition to roll out 500 systems by 2026.

“We look forward to jointly continuing to move the needle in providing electricity to the 80 million people who don’t have access to this today.”

Besides its core mini-grid business, Husk’s local entity Husk Power Systems Nigeria Limited also installs turnkey rooftop solar for off-grid and weak-grid commercial and industrial (C&I) customers as well as providing energy-efficient appliances and equipment for both households and businesses.

The husk is an international giant in solar mini-grids with over 130 sites operating in India, Nigeria and Tanzania.

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