The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) has formed a partnership with Nayo Tropical Technology (Nayo Tech) and Rocky Mountain Institute to launch the first-ever commercial undergrid minigrid in Nigeria.
IBEDC, RMI, and Nayo Tech, with supports from the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency (REA), will accelerate the commercial deployment of undergrid minigrid technology in the Nigerian energy sector.
The synergy between these organisations implies electricity access to millions of people living in underserved rural communities throughout the country.
Ahmad Salihijo, Managing Director/CEO of REA, commended the organisations for taking such a leap.
“Part of the work we do at REA is creating an enabling environment for private sector-led projects to thrive.
“We are delighted to witness strategic collaborations geared toward accelerating energy access in unserved and underserved communities across Nigeria.
“What makes this project unique, beyond being Nigeria’s first commercial undergrid minigrid in a rural community, is the social and economic transformation that the project ultimately brings to the Mokoloki Community.
“I commend RMI, IBEDC, Nayo Tech and all other stakeholders involved in carrying out this feat.
“By the time this project stabilises, Mokoloki will be like a town.
“People of the community will have more regular power supply than the cities.”
IBEDC was the first Nigerian distribution company to initiate a tripartite contract negotiation with a rural community as required for interconnected minigrids by regulation.
This undergrid minigrid pilot embodies recommendations from recent reports by RMI and partners at EMRC, Cleantech Hub, and All On.
An estimated 40 million rural residents are underserved by the main grid in Nigeria.
Of these, close to 35 per cent could be served by over 4,000 commercially viable undergrid minigrid systems, while nationwide, the revenue opportunity from these minigrids is approximately N400 billion ($1 billion) per year.
Using a modular design approach, the solar-hybrid minigrid is initially providing 100 kW of generation for an estimated peak load of 88 kW, with an expansion plan in place for anticipated load growth.
After three months of operation, it is serving 230 households and over 60 commercial and public enterprises, including the local health centre.
RMI hopes the success of this undergrid minigrid, as a replicable solution, will jump-start similar partnerships that serve customers across Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.
Both IBEDC and Nayo Tech intend to scale up their undergrid portfolios and are actively exploring project and investment opportunities.
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