The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has secured US $1.06m grant from the United States Trade Department and Administration (USTDA) for rural electrification in Nigeria. AEDC Managing Director (MD), Engr. Ernest Mupwaya signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Institute for the project.
The project is in partnership with USTDA and Colorado’s Mountain Institute. Engr. Ernest Mupwaya said that the funds is jeered towards helping the disco to provide electricity to underserved electricity communities through the implementation of the mini-grids. While the USTDA is providing the funds, the Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Institute will carry out the feasibility study on the project.
“We have designed a strategy which seeks to holistically examine how the obvious huge gaps in the level of electrification can be narrowed. In addition, we are developing and implementing initiatives to improve the quality of supply in urban areas. We are also considering how we can close up the gaps in rural areas where the challenges, some of which include the affordability of electricity, long distances which require extensive network remain unique to these areas,” said Engr. Ernest.
“With this support from the USTDA and 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 to achieve sustainable overall improvement consistent with our desire to provide quality electricity to our franchise area,” he added.
The project involves providing 1,370 solar-powered mini-grids with energy storage systems. The the study will include; the identification of optimal locations for complimentary mini-grid deployments within the catchment area of AEDC, development of an integrated distribution framework that combines the central grid with decentralized off-grid power solutions, which will, where appropriate, include mini-grids, off-grid mini-grids, grid extension projects and solar home systems and support the development of a strategic plan for 100% electrification and 24/7 supply starting from Abuja.