President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned the 10-megawatt Kano solar power project, financed and managed by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), on Monday.

The NSIA was appointed by the president as a fund and project manager with the specific mandate to conceptualize, develop, construct and commission a 10MW solar project on a 24-hectare plot of land in Kumbotso local government, Kano state. .

According to NSIA, the project aims to boost growth in the power sector and eventually attract more foreign investors.

The project was implemented with a special purpose vehicle which is Haske Solar Company Limited, jointly owned by the Federal Government, the Kano State Government and the host local government – ​​Kumbotso.

The project is currently the largest grid-connected solar PV plant and is proof of the success of Nigeria’s mid-size solar PV deployment, which has provided some 2,000 direct and indirect jobs to the immediate community.

The plant has more than 21,000 photovoltaic solar panels, two 6MVA transformers and 52 inverters, a state-of-the-art warehouse and storage building, a control room building, an office and workshop building, among others, and was built by a consortium of Eauxwell Nigeria Limited, a local indigenous contractor, and their international partners, Greencells Energy Middle East and Africa Limited, turnkey.

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Speaking at the launch, Aminu Umar-Sadiq, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO), NSIA said the project would catalyze growth in the energy sector as it demonstrates that renewable projects of this magnitude can be delivered with success.

Umar-Sadiq said the 10MW Kano Solar Project delivers significant socio-economic and environmental impacts and also builds Nigeria’s credentials in fighting climate change and its commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2060.

“This project will be truly transformational for the Challawa Industrial Area, which is the industrial area within the Kano metropolis; In addition to providing access to clean, affordable, and sustainable energy to local industries and other consumers, it will increase industrial production by ensuring that businesses achieve full capacity utilization, improve production efficiencies, reduce production costs, and, over time, it will begin to attract direct foreigners. investments in that pool,” he said.

The MD revealed that the project cost $16 million, adding 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 on sourcing the best Engineering, Procurement and Construction contractors who were resourceful and creative, and through our Treasury Activities, the funds awarded to us were enhanced to increase the returns on those funds which we also use at cost to develop this project,” he said.

He added that the project also showed a strong commitment to improving the well-being of people in the community by providing multiple community wells to ensure access to clean water supply, renovating classroom blocks to ensure students have an environment conducive to learning and build an access of 2.07 km. way to improve ease of movement in the community.

Farouk Gumel, Chairman of the NSIA Board of Directors, expressed his satisfaction with the quality of work carried out by the project team, adding that it is a turning point in terms of how the future of Nigeria’s energy sector will play out.

“NSIA was asked to manage this project and given all 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, 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 around 2,000 homes.

“For factories, it depends on the rate of consumption, the plant could power many large and small factories and it will increase the existing capacity of factories within the Kano distribution network,” he said.