WATT Renewable Corporation Chief Operating Officer, Oluwole Eweje, has urged communities across the country to explore the option of micro grids as a way of tackling power deficit from the national grid.
Eweje, who spoke in Lagos at the weekend, said the success recorded Loburo, a community in Mowe, Ogun State, is a clear indication that micro grids deployment is capable of addressing the captive energy needs of homes, commercial businesses, schools, and clinics.
He said Luburo, a busy community under-served with power from the national grid, now gets 24/7 electricity through the 10kW solar micro grid owned by WATT Renewable Corporation, a Canadian hybrid energy provider, and managed by First WATT Renewable Limited its Nigerian subsidiary. It supplies more than 10 homes and businesses, including a clinic, two schools, and a variety of small commercial shops.
“These renewable micro grids are cropping up all around the world as developing and developed countries alike turn to them for their increased resilience and flexibility. The speed with which they can bring electricity makes them decisive for countries with lower electrification rates such as Nigeria. Micro grids offer an opportunity for communities to move up the energy ladder quicker and with greener energy than expansion of a central grid,” he said.
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In order to make them affordable, he said, the micro grid needs to be the right size to fit the usage. “Too big a system will lead to under-utilization and higher per unit costs; too small a system will forego revenue and scale effects, again leading to higher per unit costs. In order to properly size the micro grid, WATT engages in intensive community engagement session with community leaders and members of the community to better understand community needs and community affordability,” he added.
Eweje said: “Electricity from roof systems can improve quality of life, but only micro grids can lift people out of poverty. By allowing people to build businesses and another source of income, they improve the resilience of communities against drought or climate change.
“WATT raises funds through Foreign Direct Investment (FID), which reduces the tariffs community members have to pay.”
WATT, he noted, has reached an agreement to provide a Proof of Concept (PoC) to a telecoms technology provider with a view of deploying WATT hybrid energy solution to over 300 of the telecoms base stations.
The organization, according to him, is providing capacity building training within communities where it works to ensure the sustainability of the micro-grid.