Nigeria’s first rural commercial undergrid minigrid has finally been installed in Mokoloki, a rural community in Ogun state.
The project, an initiative of Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) and Nayo Tropical Technology (Nayo Tech) with support from the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency (REA), will supply power to not less than 230 households and over 60 commercial and public enterprises, including the local health centre.
Makoloki, the location of the installation of the pioneer project in the country, has over the years struggled with intermittent electricity access just like many other areas.
Using a modular design approach, the solar-hybrid minigrid is initially providing 100kw of generation for an estimated peak load of 88kw with an expansion plan in place for anticipated load growth.
The Managing Director of REA, Ahmad Salihijo, said the project demonstrates a financially viable business model that could provide electricity access to millions living in underserved rural communities throughout the country.
He added what makes the project unique, beyond being Nigeria’s first commercial undergrid minigrid in a rural community, is the social and economic transformation it will ultimately bring to the community.
Chief Operating Officer of IBEDC, John Ayodele, and expressed optimism by the time the project stabilises, Mokoloki will be like a town because it will have more regular power supply than cities.
He was elated IBEDC was the first Nigerian distribution company to initiate a tripartite contract negotiation with a rural community as required for interconnected minigrids by regulation, saying, “We are happy with the Mini Grid Regulation.”
Experts puts the revenue opportunity from these minigrids at approximately N400 billion ($1 billion) per yea, adding that “the bustling market and proximity of the community to main trade routes promised major commercial activity, making it an ideal site for an undergrid minigrid.