FG to Generate 500MW of Electricity in Rural Communities

The Rural Electrification Agency has signed two Memoranda of Understanding to generate 500 megawatts of renewable energy to electrify rural communities across the nation.

The 500MW would be delivered through various min-grids to be constructed in unserved and underserved communities.

On Thursday, the REA Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Abba Aliyu, signed a 250MW agreement with EM-One, a renewable energy company, at the Eko Hotels, Lagos.

Earlier on Wednesday, the agency had signed a 250MW agreement with Husk Power, saying these agreements represent a significant step forward in realising its vision of providing electricity for 23 per cent of the 85 million Nigerians with no access to electricity.

“The MoU with EM-One signifies a combined commitment to deliver an additional 250MW of interconnected mini-grids across Nigeria.

“These interconnected mini-grids will target peri-urban and rural communities, with a particular focus on sites with large-scale anchor loads like factories or commercial centres. These anchors will not only power their operations but also serve as hubs, illuminating surrounding underserved communities,” the REA boss said.

According to him, mini-grids are a core component of the REA’s Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-Up project, aiming to enhance energy access, stimulate local economies, and promote balanced development across Nigeria.

“The partnership with EM-One, alongside the agreement with Husk Power signed at the Energy Access Investment Forum, brings the total combined commitment to a staggering 500MW of renewable energy delivered through mini-grids.

“The MoUs also pave the way for cutting-edge technologies like smart grids and decentralised systems to be integrated with interconnected mini-grids. The integration of such technologies will increase grid visibility, optimise power flows, and enable large-scale grid interconnection of renewable energy, ultimately modernising Nigeria’s energy infrastructure and ensuring efficient energy distribution,” he stated.

The CEO of EM-One, Mir Islam, highlighted the innovative aspects of the partnership, saying “We are excited to work with REA to bring cutting-edge technologies like smart grids and decentralised systems to address the challenge of energy access in Nigeria”.

He said these solutions will not only enhance energy efficiency but also ensure that renewable energy can be reliably integrated into the national grid.

The REA MD noted that the partnership between REA and Husk Energy aims to establish a long-term strategic relationship that sets a global benchmark for scaling the deployment of decentralised solar power projects in Nigeria.

These projects, he added, would electrify peri-urban and rural communities, including markets, businesses, households, public institutions, health clinics, and schools, in both weak-grid and off-grid areas.

Husk Power Co-Founder and CEO, Manoj Sinha, maintained that the partnership will not only deliver electricity access but also empower communities to thrive through the introduction of innovative energy solutions.

The Rural Electrification Agency is a Federal Government agency dedicated to providing sustainable energy access to Nigerians in underserved and unserved communities.

The agency mostly provides electricity in areas not connected to the national grid, while also electrifying universities and other public institutions.

On Thursday, the REA also entered into an agreement with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria on how to energise small businesses and enhance productivity.

President Bola Tinubu has also approved a $750 million World Bank loan for the construction of over 1,200 mini-grids in rural communities across the country.

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