The United States Government through its US Trade and Development Agency on Friday signed a grant of $1.06m with the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company to provide power to underserved communities by installing 1,370 solar-powered mini-grids with energy storage systems.
It was gathered that the fund would be used to conduct feasibility studies in the franchise areas of the Disco to identify specific opportunities for the different communities in order to provide bankable solutions.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Abuja, the Managing Director, AEDC, Ernest Mupwaya, said the grant would help in providing uninterrupted power supply to the underserved communities in the Disco’s franchise areas.
The Federal Capital Territory, Niger, Nasarawa and Kogi states are the franchise areas of the Abuja Disco.
Mupwaya said, “We are grateful that the USTDA has committed funding to help the AEDC provide electricity to underserved communities through the implementation of up to 1,370 solar-powered mini-grids with energy storage systems.
With this support from the USTDA in partnership with Rocky Mountain Institute, we are going to be able to conduct a feasibility study that will identify specific opportunities for different areas so that we can ultimately have bankable solutions, which in turn can facilitate partnerships with other investors.
“This will enable us achieve sustainable overall improvement consistent with our desire to provide quality electricity to our franchise areas.”
He further noted that the goal of the grant for the study was to identify optimal locations for complimentary mini-grid deployments within the catchment area of the AEDC.
Mupwaya added, “It is also part of our strategic plan to provide power 24/7 starting with Abuja.
“It is for the development of an integrated distribution framework that combines the central grid with decentralised off-grid power solutions, which will, where appropriate, include mini-grids, off-grid, grid extension projects and solar home systems.”
The Country Representative, West Africa, USTDA, Josh Egba, said the US agency had been connecting America’s private sector to infrastructure projects in developing and middle-income counties
He told guests at the ceremony that the USTDA funds feasibility studies, technical assistance, pilot projects and technical advisory services that provide the comprehensive analysis required for infrastructure investments to progress from concept to financing and implementation.