By Chioma Obinna
Solad Power Group has connected its 10,000th small business to affordable and reliable power across its portfolio of mini-grids in Nigeria.
Solad, a participant in Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency, REA Mini-Grid component under the Nigeria Electrification Project, NEP is a core investor in the Sura Shopping Complex, the Sabon Gari Market and a joint venture partner in the Virtus portfolio of decentralized energy projects across the country. Collectively, the company is an investor in, or the operator of, 12 mini-grids across Nigeria, each of which provides clean, affordable and reliable power to market traders.
To accelerate access, Solad has expanded the scope of its operations to include the provision of solar technology solutions for individual businesses, which will be rolled out alongside its integrated mini-grids.
An order for the first systems has been placed, with the rollout expected to begin in June 2021.
The company was approved as a Solar Home Systems, SHS supplier by the Rural Electrification Agency, REA in December 2020 and is now eligible for the Output-Based Grant available under the Nigerian Electrification Project, NEP. Under the grant system, SHS suppliers are refunded 20 per cent for every system installed, as an incentive to support the programme’s target of powering 1 million households and 90,000 SMEs.
The individual solar systems will be rolled out in markets that SOLAD has identified as part of its expansion programme and will enable businesses to access power immediately. Interested businesses are encouraged to register on the solad website.
Commenting on the agreement, Solad Power Group’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer for Nigeria, Yewande Olagbende said: “Connecting our 10,000th small business is an achievement we are extremely proud of, and a clear validation of the unmet demand for affordable and reliable power amongst Nigeria’s millions of small businesses. But this is just the beginning of our journey.
In addition to our existing investment programme to roll out more mini-grids in market clusters across the country, we are now able to provide individual businesses and homes with dedicated power solutions that can be installed rapidly. This is an opportunity we are very excited about, allowing us to rapidly expand our customer base further.
This is particularly important for households and small businesses which have been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our ability to provide them with reliable power solutions that simultaneously reduce costs as well as mitigating the environmental damage associated with power generation means we can embed a sustainable, long term solution at a time it is most needed.”
He added that Solad has embarked on an ambitious journey to install mini-grid solutions in 12 more markets across the South West of Nigeria over the next 2 years, adding more than 20,000 traders to its network.