President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday commissioned the 10 Megawatt Kano Solar Power Project funded and managed by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
The NSIA was appointed by the President as the funds and project manager with a specific mandate to conceptualize, develop, construct, and operationalize a 10MW solar project on a 24 Hectare parcel of land in Kumbotso Local Government, Kano State.
According to NSIA, the project is aimed at boosting growth in the power sector and eventually attracting more foreign investors.
The project was implemented with a special purpose vehicle which is the Haske Solar Company Limited jointly owned by the Federal Government, Kano State Government, and the host Local Government – Kumbotso.
The project is currently the largest grid-connected solar PV plant and is a proof of successful mid-sized solar PV deployment in Nigeria which has provided about 2,000 direct and indirect jobs to the immediate community.
The plant has more than 21,000 solar PV panels, two 6MVA transformers and 52 inverters, a state-of-the-art warehouse and storage building, a control room building, office and workshop building amongst others, and was built by a consortium of Eauxwell Nigeria Limited, an indigenous local contractor, and their international partners – Greencells Energy Middle East and Africa Limited – on a turnkey basis.
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Speaking at the commissioning, Aminu Umar-Sadiq, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO), NSIA said the project would catalyze growth in the power sector as it shows that renewable projects of this magnitude can be successfully delivered.
Umar-Sadiq said that the 10MW Kano Solar Project offers significant socio-economic and environmental impacts and also builds Nigeria’s credentials in the fight against climate change and its commitment to attaining net zero carbon emissions by 2060.
“This project will truly be transformative to the Challawa Industrial Area which is the industrial area within Kano metropolis; In addition to providing access to clean, affordable, and sustainable energy to local industries and other consumers, it will increase industrial output by ensuring companies reach full capacity utilization, it will enhance production efficiency, reduce production costs and in time begin to attract foreign direct investments into that cluster,” he said.
The MD revealed that the project cost $16 million adding that that NSIA took some steps to ensure it got value for money for the project such as ensuring a detailed procurement process focused on technical and financial capacity.
“We also focused getting the best Engineering, Procurement and Construction contractors that were inventive and creative, and through our Treasury Activities, the funds that were given to us was enhanced to increase the returns on those funds that we also used in the cost of developing this project,” he said.
He added that the project also showed a strong commitment to improving the welfare of people in the community by providing multiple community boreholes to ensure access to clean water supply, renovating classroom blocks to ensure students have a conducive environment to learn and constructing a 2.07km access road to improve ease of movement in the community.
Farouk Gumel, Board Chairman, NSIA, expressed satisfaction with the quality of job done by the project team, adding that it is a turning point in terms of how Nigeria’s power sector future is going to play out.
“The NSIA was asked to manage this project and given all the necessary support to implement this project and hopefully the impact of the project will be felt; when jobs are created, when families are prosperous, it will lead to peace and stability and progress for the nation,” he said.
Yusuf Umar, Portfolio Manager, NSIA said that if the solar project is to power homes at an average consumption rate of three kilowatts, it will power about 2,000 homes.
“For factories, it depends on the consumption rate, the plant could power many large and small size factories and will augment the existing capacity of the factories within the Kano distribution network,” he said.