Renewvia Energy is building solar-based minigrids in southern Nigeria under an agreement with an investing company that aims to spur off-grid energy development in the country.
The effort is part of Renewvia’s plans to expand microgrid development in Africa, a continent with large areas that have poor or non-existent electricity service.
All On, an investing company backed by Royal Dutch Shell, will commit $1.2 million for Renewvia’s projects in the Niger Delta area, the companies said June 2.
Based in Atlanta, Renewvia has already built 67.3-kW projects in two villages under the agreement. One of the solar minigrids supports a health center.
The minigrids will help more than 400 households and multiple small- and medium-businesses increase their activities, driving economic growth.
Renewia said that the minigrids are designed to be expanded as individual and communal power demand increases, without any financial burden to the community.
The minigrids use lithium ion battery storage to provide reliable power when the sun isn’t shining. The batteries for the two villages can discharge 180 kWh before needing to be recharged.
“Renewvia Energy is thrilled to partner with All On to bring reliable, clean energy to communities who need it most,” said Trey Jarrard, Renewvia CEO.
Renewvia expects the agreement with All On to lead to another six projects, serving about 4,000 households.
While Renewvia has developed utility-scale and commercial solar projects in the United States, the company also develops microgrids in Africa, where it has offices in Kenya and Nigeria.
Renewvia has nine microgrids in Kenya and Nigeria and a commercial project in Kenya. It is developing additional microgrid projects, according to Laura Kline, a company spokeswoman.
The company, for example, commissioned a 60-kW solar microgrid at the Kalobeyei refugee settlement in Kenya run by the UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency, as well as a 20-kV project at the nearby town of Kalobeyei.
Renewvia recently partnered with Dream Projects Incubators, a renewable energy company based in Singapore, to develop solar microgrids in Kenya and Nigeria.
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