* gives electricity to 1,750 people
The federal government has commissioned a 60 kilowatts (KW) grid connected solar power plant in Torankawa community of Sokoto state worth N146 million.
The Acting Director, Department of Renewable Energy and Rural Power Access at the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Engr. Faruk Yabo Yusuf, said the plant will provide uninterrupted electricity supply to 350 households with 1,750 people benefitting from it.
â€śItâ€™s the first of its kind in Nigeria because all other solar projects are off grid project,â€ť Yusuf said, adding that the plant which connects to the national grid was a pilot to test the Mini Grid Regulation launched by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in 2017.
He said the plant delivered in three months also provides power to 20 small businesses, five mosques, community irrigation farm and with 50 street lights.
It was funded under the Renewable Energy Micro Utility (REMU) project with proceeds from Nigerian Sovereign Green Bond issued in 2017.
The project handler and Managing Director of Protogy Global Services, Engr. Ademola Agoro, explained that the plant has 99 percent assurances of availability of power supply all year round.
He said the plant consists of 125kVA battery and electricity inverter, 60kWÂ Solar Photophotics (PV) modules, 216 kilowatt hours (kWh) battery bank and 100kva backup diesel generator.
Part of the project was the rehabilitation of a four kilometre Town Distribution Network (TDN) disrupted five years ago, and the upgrade of 100 customersâ€™ connection along with installed smart meters.
Representing the Managing Director of Kaduna Electric, the Regional Manager of Sokoto, Masaud Abdulkadir lauded the grid solar project and urged the community to take advantage of it.
The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, who commissioned the project said the plant was unique because it was the first to be implemented in Nigeria and demonstrates the commitment of government to provide reliable power.
â€śAt the next level, I call on other communities to embrace the peaceful nature of Torankawa community to enjoy similar projects,â€ť she noted.
The District Head of Torankawa, Umar Maishanu lauded the federal government for providing the stable electricity source.
â€śFor five years, there was no light and the state government was not responding to our pleas until this solar power project was delivered. We donated the land and we assured that we will safeguard it,â€ť the community head noted.