From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Nigeria and a United States firm have signed agreements on clean, reliable electricity, on the sidelines of the ongoing, US-Africa leadership summit
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the agreement was signed at the US-Africa Business Forum (USABF) in Washington, D.C on Wednesday.
Over 30 million Nigerians is expected to benefit from the project that is to be constructed in different phases across the six geopolitical zones and will provide clean, reliable and affordable electricity.
The Federal Government signed the agreement with the U.S firm, Sun Africa LLC, the largest US renewable energy company operating in Africa.
He disclosed that the agreement is for the development and Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) implementation framework for the construction of 5,000 MW of solar generation and 2,500 MWh of battery energy storage power plants for up to $10 billion investment from the US government.
The agreement was signed by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo who stood in for Nigeria and Adam Cortese, CEO for Sun Africa, for the implementing firm, in the presence of Amos Hochstein, President Joe Biden’s Special Presidential Coordinator for the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment.
Garba recalled that on Tuesday, December 13, President Muhammadu Buhari had declared that “As part of the National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy, we set the vision 30:30:30 which aims at achieving 30GW of electricity by 2030 with renewable energy contributing 30% of the energy mix” in the presence of President Biden and the world leaders, and sought the United States’ support to achieve it.”
Sun Africa, Sterling and Wilson Renewable Energy Limited (“S&W”), a leading US and international solar EPC company, and the Nigerian government have been working on the development of transformation grid-connected and mini-grids solar projects in multiple locations, including interconnection, electrification and smart meters infrastructure.
To ensure the broadest and most comprehensive approach to access electricity, Sun Africa is also implementing solar cabins and solar home systems where the mini-grids are not economically viable.
He disclosed that “ all the technical and financial due diligence activities for the phase 1 of the project have been completed for the first five (5) selected locations for the grid-connected solar projects of up to 961 MWp of solar and 455 MWh of battery energy storage.
“Subsequently, ING Bank, US EXIM Bank, the Federal Ministry of Finance, and the Debt Management Office (“DMO”) have concluded all the financial negotiations and are closing the financing terms for up to $2 billion”
He revealed that the construction of phase 1 is expected to start in the first quarter of 2023
“This transformative solar project is on top of the US climate and sustainable energy agenda and has been prioritized as a strategic lead for the US which is entirely in line with the Federal Government’s Energy Transition Plan, addressing clean and reliable energy supply, creating jobs and ensuring transfer of knowledge and technology” he stated.