Nigeria and 22 other African countries under the Power Africa Energy Challenge scheme, have secured a total grant of $2.2million to boost renewable energy in their respective economies.

The fund aims to provide electricity access to 20 million households and businesses across Africa.

Each country is expected to receive $100,000 each for the power project.

Already, General Electrics, Africa; the United States (US) African Development Foundation (USADF); and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), have announced the 22 winners that bided for the second round of the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge.

They stated that the money would fund renewable power projects, including wind, solar, hydro-electric and biogas, which will provide 3.4megawatts (mw) of new electricity to rural communities across sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the statement, “the winning projects include 14 solar developments, six biogas generation projects, one wind turbine system and a small hydroelectricity power plant.”

The four winners from Nigeria include Topstep Nigeria Ltd, which will be expanding its solar capacity to power its maize mill reaching over 500 people in Kaduna; while Quintas Renewable Energy will be developing a 500kw biomass power plant to power 230 households in Ondo State. Others are Sky Resources, which will bring off-grid electricity to a village in Imo State through a small solar micro-grid for 75 small businesses; and Ginphed Nigeria which will construct a bio-digester to convert animal manure into biogas to be used for electricity generation in local farms.

The four winners and their 18 other African counterparts were selected from nearly 300 applicants with the Off-Grid Challenge being funded by USADF, USAID and GE Africa to promote innovative solutions that scale-up the use of proven technologies for off-grid energy, and increasing access to sustainable power.

Jay Ireland, president and CEO, GE Africa, while commending the winners said, “the high quality of submissions we received throughout the Off-Grid Energy Challenge is a testament to the incredible innovation and entrepreneurship that is happening across the continent.”

Johnson Alabi
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