In what could be termed utility-scale solar revolution, Pan Africa Solar and the Federal Government of Nigeria have jointly signed Nigeria’s first Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The 75MW solar photovoltaic power project in Katsina State, a total investment of $146,000,000USD, will sell power for a tariff of 11.5 US cents per kWh and will be commissioned in 2017.
The signing agreement was carried out at the office of the Nigeria Bulk Energy Trader (NBET). The special guest of honour at the groundbreaking ceremony and Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, was represented by Mrs. Lolade Abiola of Sector Lead Solar and Access Advisory power Team, Office of the Vice President.
Once inaugurated, this 75MW solar project will be the largest of its type in sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) and will provide power for 1.1 million Nigerians.
Not only that, it will also create over 500 employment for local people during the 12 month construction period. It is also estimated that more 40,000 new jobs will be created from the additional economic activity stimulated by the power plant.
In his address, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Pan Africa Solar, Mr. Marcus Heal said, “We are delighted that the Federal Ministry of Power is pushing ahead with its solar energy policy. This tariff has been achieved through harnessing lower construction and lower solar panel prices and the commitments of the project’s Lender”.
Corroborating Heal’s remarks, Justin Woodward of JCM Capital, a Canadian Private Equity firm who are co-developers in the project said “This is the start of a solar revolution in Nigeria.” Pan Africa Solar is developing a 1,000 MW portfolio of solar projects in Nigeria and planning on bringing more than US$1 billion of investment over the next five years.
The sponsor group for the project includes Pan Africa Solar and JCM Capital and the African Finance Corporation (AFC). The FMO are the Lead Arrangers of debt raised from the Development Finance Institutions that includes DEG and Proparco. The project is also receiving support from the World Bank, Power Africa and MIGA, the company said.