The United States Trade and Development Agency has announced a grant to be given to Nigeria’s Sosai Renewable Energies Company for a feasibility study which will provide energy solutions to some rural communities in Kaduna, Kogi and Plateau states.
A statement issued by the group on Wednesday stated that such energy solutions will connect more than 200,000 women, farmers, and rural citizens to new solar-powered mini-grids in the aforementioned states.
USTDA’s Acting Director, Enoh T. Ebong, said, “USTDA is committed to promoting inclusive economic development, and bringing clean energy solutions to rural communities is an important component of our approach.
“Women entrepreneurs like [Sosai CEO] Habiba Ali are setting a vision for Nigeria’s energy future that USTDA enthusiastically supports.”
The statement added that the USTDA-funded feasibility study will include site surveys, preliminary engineering, economic and financial analyses and an assessment of the project’s likely developmental impacts on rural women.
It also stated that the study will create business opportunities for United States equipment and services suppliers in Nigeria’s mini-grid sector while supporting up to 20 megawatts of new solar power in rural communities.
The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard said, “This announcement is emblematic of the US-Nigeria relationship as the USTDA grant supports the development of energy for productive use and promotes inclusion for women and rural dwellers. Working together, we can solve today’s greatest challenges through projects like this.”
According to Sosai's CEO, Habiba Ali, the grant is one of the breakthroughs for Nigeria in meeting its rural electrification goals.
She said, “This USTDA grant will support a huge step forward for Nigeria in meeting its rural electrification goals as well as kick-start life-changing projects for communities, women, economic development and the agricultural sector. For Sosai, the benefit of the USTDA grant to our company is immense, positioning us for greater growth and greater possibilities in the future.”
The statement said the project supports the United States government’s Power Africa and Prosper Africa Initiatives, President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad and the global “2X Challenge” – an initiative by development finance institutions to invest in and create inclusive opportunities for women.
In Nigeria, the USTDA has supported the successful roll-out of mini-grids and microgrids in rural and peri-urban communities using US technology.
The Agency also has an active portfolio of three other ongoing solar mini-grid activities in Nigeria. The projects are expected to support energy access for over 66,000 households in Nigeria and help Nigeria meet its goal of universal electrification.
“US businesses interested in submitting proposals for the USTDA-funded feasibility study should visit https://ustda.gov/business_opp_oversea/nigeria-sosai-sustainable-minigrids-for-energy-access-and-social-inclusion-project/. Proposals are due April 16, 2021, at 11:00 EDT / 17:00 WAT,” the statement added.