Early this year, Nigeria signed a series of agreements with SkyPower FAS Energy, a joint venture between Canadian SkyPower Global and Saudi-based FAS Energy, to develop and operate 3,000 megawatts (MW) of utility-scale solar PV power plants over the next five years. At the time of its signing, the agreement covered projects worth $5 billion and was supposed to generate 30,000 jobs in Nigeria.
It has now been reported that Nigeria has signed a fresh Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chicago-based infrastructure developer “New Generation Power,” and Washington, DC-based “Motir Seaspire,” which specialises in construction, infrastructure, and energy development.
As per the agreement, the two US companies will deliver 1,200 MW (1.2 GW) of utility-scale PV projects in Nigeria. The project amounts to $2 billion worth of investments. Not only would the project help to generate clean sustainable power, but it would also allow investment into energy infrastructure (transmission and distribution), lack of which has long been considered a major barrier.
The Government of Nigeria is said to be in the process of identifying and allocating suitable land for the project, in addition to addressing licensing and other project issues. The projects are expected to come up in 2017.
Nigeria has huge untapped solar potential (not to mention fossil reserves), yet roughly 60% of Nigerians lack access to power. Once completed, the project is expected to deliver around 590,400 MWh/yr electricity – enough to power over 1 million Nigerian homes.
According to International Renewable Energy Agency, Africa’s renewable energy capacity is expected to quadruple to roughly 120 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 if investors can dedicate funds to the region.