As part of its efforts at combating the coronavirus, the Rural Electrification Agency, a government agency in the ministry of Power charged with improving energy access for rural communities, is deploying solar home systems and solar mini grids in primary healthcare centers that could serve as isolation centers during this pandemic.
The agency said it is working with multilateral agencies including the World Bank and the African Development Bank on accelerating grant disbursements to qualifying developers of solar home system and mini grid projects under the Nigerian Electrification Project to increase energy access.
In keeping with this plan, the REA on Wednesday started the deployment of solar hybrid mini grid plants, to health facilities across the country as part of measures to fight the outbreak of COVID-19.
The REA has handed over two completed solar hybrid mini-grid plants in Abuja and another two in Lagos, while two other completed solar hybrid mini-grids are slated to be handed over on today in Ogun state.
Ahmad Salihijo, managing director of the REA listed the projects to include a 53.1KWp solar hybrid mini-grid installed at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital COVID-19 Isolation Center, 25KWp solar hybrid mini-grid at Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) Public Health Laboratory in Lagos, as well as a 20KWp solar hybrid mini-grid at 128 Bed Ikenne Isolation Center and 10KWp solar Mini hybrid mini-grid at 100 Bed Iberekodo isolation Center in Ogun state.
Salihijo said the facilities would complement the efforts of the Federal and State Governments as well as the private sector in containing the spread of the COVID-19 in the country, providing palliatives that would aid emergency electrification of COVID-19 health centres across the country.
“The REA being the implementing Agency of the Federal Government for the electrification of unserved and underserved areas across the country hereby provides and hands over this 53.1KWp solar hybrid mini-grid at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital COVID-19 Isolation Center. This project is one of the initial four solar hybrid mini-grids implemented by the REA at COVID-19 health facilities.
The other three are 25KWp solar mini-grid at the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) Public Health Laboratory in Lagos, 20KWp solar hybrid mini-grid at 128 Bed Ikenne Isolation Center and 10KWp solar Mini hybrid mini-grid at 100 Bed Iberekodo Isolation Center in Ogun state. Implementing these projects will provide clean, safe and reliable electricity to enable our health workers to thrive towards the fight against this COVID-19 disease,” Salihijo said.
He noted that while complementing the efforts of the Federal Government towards containing the spread of COVID-19, the agency would continue fulfilling its mandate of providing clean, safe and reliable electricity to rural areas across the country.
The beneficiary institutions of the solar mini-grids expressed gratitude saying that constant power will provide a conducive environment for patients to recover from this disease.