ABAH ADAH highlights areas impacted as the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) implemented its various projects in 2020
In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that broke out in the early part of this outgoing year, activities were grounded almost in all aspect of the economy; MDAs and private enterprises were only managing to crawl towards achieving the little possible instead of zero for the year. In the same vein, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) in pursuit of its mandate of electrifying the unserved and underserved communities across the country strived to carry the bumps within its strides in implementing its various programmes across board. To start with, the agency took the fight against COVID-19 with all seriousness, intervening with four COVID-19 intervention projects: solar hybrid mini-grids were deployed in: University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Isolation Center (53.1kWp); NCDC public health lab, Lagos (25kW); 128-bed Isolation Center, Ikenne, Ogun State (20kW); 100-bed Iberekodo Isolation Center, Ogun State (10kW).
These interventions were meant to be scaled up to 100 isolation centers and 400PHCs, to be deployed in phases.
Also under the programme tagged, REF Call 1, 7 Projects were done.
Talking about mini-grid projects, they include 100kW Eka Awoke in Ebonyi State; 30kW solar hybrid mini-grid in Bambami village, Batagarawa LGA, KatsinaState;
100kW solar hybrid mini-grid at Olooji community, Ijebu-East, Ogun State; 100kW solar hybrid mini-grid at Budo-Are community, Oyo State.
40kW solar hybrid mini-grid at Goton-Sarki community, Paikoro LGA, Niger state; 85kWp Solar mini-grid at Dekiti community, Akko LGA, Gombe (completed, not commissioned), 100kW solar hybrid mini-grid in Adebayo community, Ovia South LGA, Edo state (completed, not commissioned).
Over 15, 000 community members across these communities are benefiting from these installations. These interventions have also improved the socio-economic status of the communities through as some of them have testified.
In a related development, 6, 805 Solar Home Systems had been deployed across 6 States (Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Kaduna, Akwa-Ibom, Katsina).
REF Call 1 was designed to deliver mini-grids to 12 communities and 19, 000 SHS in total.
Within the year five capital projects were also executed. They were grid extension projects at Unguwar Dutse community, Malumfashi, Katsina State (33/0.415kv transformer) serving about 4,000 residents of the community; Ajijola-Anabi community, Osun State (300kva, 11/0.415kv Transformer). Solar mini-grids included, Joint Hospital, Ozubulu, Ikwusigo, Anambra State (7.5kW), powering critical loads at the hospital; 250-bed cottage hospital at Okpogo community, Okene LGA, Kogi State (65kW);
Government Cottage Hospital, Adavi Eba, Adavi LGA, Kogi State (5.4kW).
These systems are sufficiently serving these hospitals by powering critical loads and ensuring the delivery of quality healthcare services to the people of the community.
On the Energising Education Programme (EEP), 1 project was commissioned in 2020 as well as
8.2MW Solar Hybrid Mini-grid in FUAM, serving over 17, 000 students and staff members and a workshop and training center designed to train the EEP-STEM interns, even as 470 solar streetlights installed to ensure security on campus.
So far, BUK, FUAM and Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike (FUNAI) have all been energised under the EEP.
A total of 18.5MW have already been deployed under the EEP, with 100 STEM interns trained at the Workshop and Training Centers, 740 jobs created.
EEP Phase II Term Sheets have been signed at Uni-Abuja;
NDA, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture; Federal University Gashua; University of Calabar and University Teaching Hospital, Calabar; University Teaching Hospital Abeokuta; University of Maiduguri and the University Teaching Hospital.
These Term Sheets kick off deeper engagements with the EEP Phase II beneficiary institutions. Upon completion, all these institutions would be energised with clean, safe and reliable energy.
Under the Nigerian Electrification Project (NEP) being implemented by REA, 3 projects were executed in 2020, namely
Akipkelai and Oloibiri in Bayelsa State now being powered by a 134.64kW solar hybrid mini-grid with about 364 households being served; Shimankar in Plateau State now powered by a 234kW, serving 1,972 households, 273 commercial users in the community. And over 200 jobs were created in the construction phase of these projects. All these 3 communities are being powered under the NEP Performance-Based Grant (PBG). Also within the last 12 months,
NEP SHS had 7 new SHS developers signed in under the Output-based Fund (OBF), increasing the number of companies in our portfolio from 12 to 19. The target is to electrify 1 million households and 90, 000 MSMEs through this component.
Even the Solar Power Naija aspect of its programmes was not left behind. The electrification of 5 million households initiative to serve about 25 million Nigerians in rural areas and under-served urban communities was launched, targeting about 250,000 jobs in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).