THE United States Trade Department and Administration has granted the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) a total of $1.06 billion to provide 1,370 solar-powered mini-grids with energy storage systems.
The fund is jeered towards helping the disco to provide electricity to underserved electricity communities through the implementation of the mini-grids.
While signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Institute at the weekend in Abuja, AEDC Managing Director (MD), Engr. Ernest Mupwaya said the institute would conduct a feasibility study on the entire project.
He said: “With this support from the USTDA in partnership with Rocky Mountain Institute, we are going to be able to conduct a feasibility study that will identify specific opportunities for different areas so that we can ultimately have bankable solutions, which in turn can facilitate partnerships with other investors.
“This will enable us to achieve sustainable overall improvement consistent with our desire to provide quality electricity to our franchise area.”
He stated that the grant for the study will include; “the identification of optimal locations for complimentary mini-grid deployments within the catchment area of AEDC, development of an integrated distribution framework that combines the central grid with decentralized off-grid power solutions, which will, where appropriate, include mini-grids, off-grid mini-grids, grid extension projects and solar home systems and support the development of a strategic plan for 100 percent electrification and 24/7 supply starting from Abuja.”
Earlier, the Acting Director, USTDA, Thomas Hardy, stated that the support for energy projects in Nigeria will further strengthen business ties between both countries.
He noted that Nigeria is a dynamic market with many opportunities for cooperation between the private sectors.
Hardy, who spoke through the Regional Director, Sub-Region Africa, (USTDA)Heather Lanigan, said the agency was building on its 27 years of support for Nigeria’s energy by funding the projects.
He said the agency was funding three projects that will help electrify dozens of rural communities and deliver critical gas resources to support economic activity and job growth.