The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a grant to Konexa Energy for studies into solar power supply in parts of Northern Nigeria.
The support will enable technical and financial studies to be carried out. The studies will also address the regulatory and legal requirements of the mini-grids project. The American agency, which has shown keen interest in energy supplies in Nigeria, did not specify the amount of its subsidy.
Konexa, a new, renewable energy company with offices in London and Abuja, plans to generate 2.5 MW of electricity from several solar photovoltaic systems in Kaduna, in Nigeria’s northwest. “This project will support the development of critical energy infrastructure and an innovative business model to improve the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Nigeria, as well as to improve the supply of electricity to off-grid customers,” says Thomas R. Hardy, acting director of the USTDA.
The small solar power plants will be installed to supply mini power grids serving residential (household), commercial and industrial customers in Kaduna State in northern Nigeria.
Hardy says that the grant will also to support the acquisition of 30 MW of hydropower capacity from an existing but decommissioned plant. The electricity will be distributed through the Konexa grid. The USTDA grant is part of Prosper Africa, a U.S. government initiative to increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and Africa.
The company selected for the studies will carry out the environmental and social impact studies, assist in the selection of the meters and thus provide an analysis of the expected impacts of the development of the mini-grids.