BY NONYE EKWENUGO Kaduna
Konexa an integrated electricity distribution platform in partnership with Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company operators of Kaduna Electric to provide 2.5mw solar hybrid generation to help provide 24/7 power supply.
Towards this end, a groundbreaking ceremony was performed at the site by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing CB alongside with the representative of the Executive Governor of Kaduna state, Mall Nasir el-Rufai Hon. Balarebe Aliyu Inuwa and the Chairman Kaduna Electric Alhaji Yusuf Hamisu Abubakar.
In a welcome remark at the groundbreaking ceremony, the Chairman Kaduna Electric described the partnership with Konexa as historic, adding that it will not only help provide uninterrupted power supply to the communities, it will also help create employment opportunities to the teaming unemployed youths.
While commending Kaduna State Government for providing a friendly environment for business, he informed that benefiting communities will not only enjoy power supply, it will ensure that employment are created which will also help address insecurity.
On her part, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria averred that energy is one of the major factor holding back Nigeria as a country, stressing that energy is solution of the future.
She commended KONEXA and Kaduna Electric for a well thought out initiative.
Speaking on the project, the vice President Operations KONEXA Hajiya Hasanna Aliyu said Konexa is committed on improving reliability of power supply through its investments.
“Konexa is focussed ply, reducing aggregate technical, commercial, and collection (ATC&C) losses, extending energy access to new connections and introducing new systems and processes as well as cuttingedge technology.
“To improve the financial health of Konexa offers four things, distribution utilities . A different financial model that brings investment to national networks: adding renewable generation from solar, estorage and hydro, Cutting edge service and distribution technology that reduces the cost to serve consumers across all income demographics, New technology for communicating with customers in real time gives you real time feedback that helps optimise the grid, reduce losses and tailor.
“Offering to customers depending on their needs grid services like minigrids to reach rural customers that are integrated fully with the national utility by partnering with utilities to provide these four services we improve operations, allowing of them to achieve good financial health and get into a growth where they can cover their own capital and operational costs”.
She disclosed that for their first project in Nigeria, “Konexa has partnered with the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company to operate subconcession area broader concession. s within Essentially, we have scaled down the business into a smaller network area which has given us the ability to painstakingly gather all the necessary data on the network and the endusers, to understand the needs, challenges, and opportunities, and to understand the regulatory environment”.
This he said has enabled them to put together an investment plan that is geared towards addressing the challenges and leveraging on the opportunities.
“Investments in mini-grids and solar home systems will provide power to areas where grid extension is not viable, and this off-grid business will be integrated with the on-grid business, functioning as one utility business and benefitting from shared financial and operational resources.
“Finally, alongside the invests in the distribution network, which includes feeders, transformers, injection substations, and last mile reticulation, Konexa will invest in and implement grid management systems such as micro-scada to drive operational efficiency and significantly reduce ATC&C losses.
“The value of this approach is not only the potential for cost-saving and improved service, but the interest in investors to take it to scale and replicate throughout the distribution sub-sector. Investors can see how technology can be adapted and applied to the sector, the fact that the cost of renewable energy generation is reducing, and the importance of universal energy access for growth and national resilience to pandemics like Covid.
“Almost straight away, we had early support from foundations like Shell Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, DFID and Power Africa allowing us to build this concept and start pilots in Nigeria and , for the past 2 years, Konexa has been working with Kaduna Electric and the Nigerian government to bring this vision to life.
“We are also pleased to say that we have made progress on attracting commercial investment and are working towards financial close by Q2 next year, with climate fund managers as our anchor partners on this early journey.
“In closing, Konexa hopes to bring rapid innovation to the Utility sector in Nigeria by scaling the business down, proving the model, taking a customer centric view, deploying very advanced technology and leveraging private capital to take it back up to scale.