Vice-president of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, led a delegation to officially launch a 7.1MW solar hybrid power plant in Bayero University in Kano state.
The power plant is currently the largest off-grid power plant in Africa. It is designed to serve the 55,815 students and the 3,077 staff of the university.
This electrification project was designed and carried out as part of the first phase of the Energising Education Programme (EEP) which covers the six geo-political zones. The just-concluded project at Bayero University is the second one to be executed so far.
At the commissioning, a world-class renewable training centre was launched and 11.4KM of solar-powered streetlights were also officially launched in the University.
The target of the EEP is to deliver clean and sustainable energy to 37 federal universities in the country and seven teaching hospital over the next four years. The energy source can either be solar hybrid or gas-fired captive power plants.
The EEP is being implemented by the Federal Government under the Rural Electrification Agency (REA). The REA has been tasked with making sure the rural and underserved parts of Nigeria have access to electricity.
Speaking on the effects of the newly launched power plant on the environment, Mr Evangelos Kamaris said it would go a long way in boycotting supply of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
“The state-of-the-art solar hybrid power plant will result in carbon dioxide savings of 108,875,120Ibs, a feat we as green contractors are proud of.”Evangelos Kamaris, Managing Director, METKA West Africa Limited, (The EPC contractor)
The project elicited a lot of positive and excited reactions from staff, students and well-wishers of the University.
According to the Managing Director of the REA, Damilola Ogunbiyi, the first phase of the EEP is fully funded by the Federal Government and will train 180 females in STEM education.
“Within this phase, there are seven solar hybrid projects currently benefiting from funding of the Green Bond issued by the Federal Government…
While subsequent phases are to be funded by the Nigerian Electrification Project which is also a Federal Government project administered by the REA in partnership with the World Bank and African Development Bank”
According to the vice-Chancellor of BUK, Prof. Muhammad Yahuza-Bello, this new development in the state will further empower and encourage research in the institution.
As a result of the project, research laboratories can be open at all hours. This will impact productivity and efficiency, not to mention the N4.5 million electricity costs that will also be saved monthly.