The Federal Government on Tuesday commissioned a 60 kilowatts (KW) grid connected solar power plant in Torankawa community of Sokoto State worth N146 million.
Speaking at the commissioning, the Acting Director, Department of Renewable Energy and Rural Power Access at the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (Power Sector), Engr. Faruk Yabo Yusuf, said the plant will provide uninterrupted electricity supply to 350 households with 1,750 people benefitting from it.
According to him, “It’s the first of its kind in Nigeria because all other solar projects are off grid project,” adding that the plant which connects to the national grid was a pilot one to test the Mini Grid Regulation launched by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in 2017.
He said the plant, which was completed in three months also provides power to 20 small businesses, five mosques, community irrigation farm and 50 street lights, disclosing that it was funded under the Renewable Energy Micro Utility (REMU) project with proceeds from Nigerian Sovereign Green Bond issued in 2017.
The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Abubakar, who commissioned the project said the plant was unique because it was the first to be implemented in Nigeria and demonstrates the commitment of the Buhari led Administration to provide incremental, stable and uninterrupted power supply to Nigerians.
“I am aware that this project is self-sustainable and therefore will request you to ensure that you guard and protect the project especially against vandalism .This will encourage the development of many similar projects. At the next level, I call on other communities to embrace the peaceful nature of Torankawa community to enjoy similar projects,” the Minister said.
Speaking on behalf of the Chairman of News Engineering Nigerian Limited, the contractor of the project,Lady Josephine Nwaeze described the project as a pace setting and landmark project, being the first Grid – Connected Hybrid Solar PV Mini Grid tob be developed and energized in Nigeria. She said it will provide “24/7 electricity with 99% availability of supply.
On his part, the co - contractor and Managing Director of Protogy Global Services, Ademola Agoro, explained that the plant has 99 percent assurances of availability of power supply all year round. According to him, it consists of 125kVA battery and electricity inverter, 60kW Solar Photophobic (PV) modules, 216 kilowatt hours (kWh) battery bank and 100KVA backup diesel generator. Part of the project was the rehabilitation of a four kilometer Town Distribution Network (TDN) disrupted five years ago, and the upgrade of 100 customers’ connection along with installed smart meters.
Representing the Managing Director of Kaduna Electric, the Sokoto state Regional Manager, Masaud Abdulkadir lauded the grid solar project and urged the community to take advantage of it.
The District Head of Torankawa, Umar Maishanu lauded the Federal Government for providing the stable electricity source. He said, “For five years, there was no light and the state government was not responding to our pleas until this solar power project was delivered. We donated the land and we promise that we will safeguard it,” the community Head noted
7TH NATIONAL COUNCIL ON LANDS HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT HELD AT GOMBE STATE
Alh Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo Governor of Gombe State Center Minister of Power Works and Housing HM Babatunde Fashola SAN right and the Deputy Gvernor Gombe State Hon Charles Iliya