KEDCO launches Utility 2.0, allocates 41 sites to renewable, off-grid companies

The Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO), Sunday, announced the allocation of 41 prioritised sites to 31 leading renewable and off-grid companies in Nigeria as part of its Utility 2.0 Project.

The project, according to KEDCO is aimed at enhancing energy supply within its franchise states, and to  bolster energy security in its network by tapping into renewable energy sources.

A statement issued by the Head, Corporate Communication of KEDCO, Sani Bala Sani, said the initiative marks a significant step towards improving electricity reliability and reducing losses through network infrastructure upgrades, similar to the $2 million Zawaciki Solar Power Plant, developed by KEDCO’s core investors, Future Energies Africa (FEA), as a pilot for the project.

He said the sites selected across the tri-states of Kano, Katsina, and Jigawa are set to host interconnected mini-grids and embedded generation projects, augmenting grid supply.

Sani listed Tokarawa Industrial Area, Amana and Kwankwasiyya Cities in Kano, Charanchi, Malumfashi, and Barhim Estate in Katsina, and Kafin Hausa and Gumel towns in Jigawa as some of the sites.

He said: “Interest from several renewable energy and off-grid companies such as Axxela, PowerGen, DayStar, Elektron, Bagaja, ProServe, Husk, and Westa. After a comprehensive procurement process, pre-qualified developers were grouped into Tier 1 (sites of 1MW or greater) and Tier 2 (sites below 1MW).

“These developers are required to complete an initial site assessment, register, pay fees and security deposits, and sign agreements within this month to commence site activities in Q3 2024.

“An estimated 60MW is allocated to developers who will construct solar power plants, upgrade distribution infrastructure, and provide metering services. Key sites like Tokarawa and Challawa are set for embedded generation projects, modeled as bilateral agreements between KEDCO and developers.

“KEDCO’s core investor, Future Energies Africa, champions the Utility 2.0 program, aiming to make KEDCO Africa’s first green utility. This initiative sees off-grid solutions as opportunities rather than threats, fostering partnerships with developers.”

The KEDCO’s Chief Strategy Officer,Engr. Hussaini Sadiq, emphasised the investment and partnership potential, particularly with host state governments, to revive agro-industrial and commercial hubs and empower communities socio-economically.

Also speaking, KEDCO’s Chairman, Engr. Adamu Ibrahim Gumel, reiterated the company’s commitment to addressing energy deficiencies, stating that Utility 2.0 will continue to grow and evolve.

He said: “We are already planning phase 2 as 60MW is just a fraction of the energy gap we need to fill. We hope to continue working with successful developers from this first phase into the future.”

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