The Federal Government of Nigeria is now ready to support the National Agency for Science Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) in the production of solar panels for renewable energy.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo said: “With the low level of electricity generation in the country which is mainly through gas fired turbines, the Federal Government is now focusing on solar to compliment it. We want to grow renewable energy resources utilization and deployment in Nigeria. This is one of the technologies that are far away from the national grid.”
The minister added that the launch of the Operation Light-up Rural Nigeria (OLRN), using renewable energy is imperative to develop Nigerian solar manufacturing plants.
“Patronising them will give them more encouragement to go into mass production and sales of the solar panels across the country. Solar is the only thing you can deploy to every part of Nigeria and get electricity. We have challenges with wind because the onshore wind velocity is not quite amenable with wind turbines and only select part of the country will use that,” he said.
Nebo said that partnering with NASENI was part of government effort to ensure local content development in the power sector and the creation of jobs for Nigerian youths. He commended the professional and diligent methodology of quality control of the panels.
“We will be promoting NASENI; we will tell our partners that we prefer NASENI solar panels because Mr President is so concerned when it comes to local content development. Once the solar panels continue to be of international and best standard why go outside,” he said.
Mohammed Haruna, NASENI executive vice chairman, said the 7.5mw pilot plant was already producing high quality solar panels that could be found in the market.
“The solar factory is a demonstration plant and it was started as part of our research and development and we want to prove that it can work in Nigeria. So, it is a 7.5mw pilot plant and it is producing solar panels of high quality standard and the products are available in the market.”
The project started in May 2012 and became a Limited Liability Company in 2013 after surmounting so many challenges.