An independent power project in Lagos with a capacity of 1.5 megawatts is set to be inaugurated by the Federal Government.
The Sura Shopping Complex IPP, which was built by a private sector developer, Solad Power Holdings, was executed under the Federal Government’s Energising Economies Initiative being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency.
The initiative aims to support the rapid deployment of off-grid electricity solutions to micro, small and medium enterprises within economic clusters (such as markets, shopping complexes and agricultural/industrial clusters) through private sector developers.
The 1.5MW IPP, which would be inaugurated on Friday, takes excess capacity power from Lagos Island Independent Power Plant and supplies electricity to Sura Shopping Complex, according to REA.
It said the EEI had already launched three pilot projects to electrify 50,000 shops in Sabon Gari Market (Kano State), Ariaria Market (Abia State) and Sura Shopping Complex (Lagos State).
The Head of Operations, Solad Power Holding LLC, Omotunde Hassan, at a tour of the facility on Tuesday, said the 1,047 shops in the complex had been metered and energised for 70 days since the project commenced.
He said, “Solad is a power company, and our mission is to deliver power to captive customers. Sura is one of those captive customers we have looked at under the EEI projects. In addition to that, we have invested as co-developer for Sabon-Gari Market in Kano and Ariaria Market.
“There are also two other markets within the EEI platform we are looking at to co-invest in and support in developing power projects. One of the markets is in Osun State and the other one in Ogun State.”
Over 700 generators have been decommissioned reducing harmful greenhouse emissions and noise pollution.
The Chairman, Shop Owners Association in Sura Shopping Complex, Mrs Bunmi Ajayi, who described the IPP as a dream come true, said shop owners in the complex had been grappling with blackout and the issue of efficient billing system in the past.
She said, “We used to have an obsolete 11KVA electrical panel here and we had employees working there but it suffered explosions. We used to have old generators but we could not use them because they were also obsolete.
“We have been looking for a way out as small-scale business people because the problem was killing our businesses. Suddenly, we just got a call that there is a government initiative; initially, I didn’t believe, and I said, ‘Can I get a letter to this effect?’ They brought a letter, and I saw it and said, ‘Wow! Is this true?’ And then we started that journey. Really, it is our dream come true.
“Whenever you came into Sura before, there was noise pollution because all of us were using our individual generators. In my company, we have two generators and now we are looking for people to buy them. The project is a right step in the right direction.”