|Credit: Phanes group
Dubai-based solar energy developer, Phanes Group, has purchased and will co-develop three 100 MW grid-connected solar PV plants in Nigeria.
The ground-mounted projects will significantly raise Nigeria’s current solar capacity and contribute to the government’s ambitions to generate 2000 MW of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
The projects which will be sited three locations include the Mando area of Kaduna, Birnin-Kebbi in Kebbi and Sokoto in the North-West of Nigeria.
Sokoto, benefits from one of the highest irradiation levels (2210 kWh/m2/year) in Nigeria and is backed by one of the 14 recently signed government Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with utility-scale solar power developers which will collectively add around 1,200MW of solar capacity to the grid.
The first 50MW of Phanes Group’s Sokoto project will be grid-connected as early as the first quarter of 2018, and the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
The Kebbi and Kaduna projects will be delivered under the Hasken-Rana brand (meaning ‘sunshine’ in Hausa), a joint venture between Phanes Group and its Nigerian partners, and are due for completion before the end of 2019.
The Chief Executive Officer of Phanes Group, Martin Haupts, said, “Nigeria’s policy makers have worked proactively to address the nation’s immediate and long-term electrification challenges through the introduction of attractive clean energy policies, and we are beginning to see the fruits of those policies.
He further said, “Despite its challenges, Nigeria’s potential for solar development is unquestionable and from a standing start it may soon emerge as the solar leader among its sub-Saharan African peers.”
“These new commercially viable projects demonstrate the strength of public, private partnerships whilst setting Nigeria on positive to course greater energy security and economic development – a model for African solar deployment.”
The projects will be managed and delivered from Phanes Group’s new Nigeria office, which is expected to be operational by the end of this year and will service the firm’s broader West African solar interests.
This follows the opening of the company’s African’s headquarters in South Africa, earlier this year.
According to the government’s target, 75 percent of the nation will be grid connected by 2020 at a rate of 1.5 million households per year.
In addition to grid extensions, Nigeria will also seek non-grid solutions from renewable sources such as solar, the wind and medium hydro to ensure communities across the country have equal access to a secure power supply, phasing out expensive diesel powered generators.
The CEO said, “We are wholly committed to realising Africa’s solar potential which also means identifying ways of utilising our off-grid and micro-grid expertise to light up remote communities too.”
He added, “In parallel with our utility scale grid-connected work we will pursue and deploy solar to Nigeria’s rural communities where citizens are being held back by a lack of electrification, helping to transform the lives of millions of Nigerians.”