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FG to collaborate with private initiatives on clean energy

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The Minister of Niger Delta Development, Abubakar Momoh said that the Federal Government will continue to partner with private Initiatives in the provision of clean energy across the Niger Delta region and the country as a whole.

The Minister gave the assurance over the weekend at the inauguration of 91kWp Solar Powered Mini-Grid executed by SAF-AGA Renewable Energy Limited in Okpokunou community in the Burutu Local Government area of Delta State.

Okpokunou Mini-Grid project is a private Initiative of SAF-AGA Renewable Energy Limited to address the pressing challenges of electricity access in the community which had been deprived of electricity in the past 12 years.

Momoh said the federal government, aside from its foreign partners in the provisions of clean and renewable energy, will collaborate with private Initiatives, like what SAF-AGA has done in bringing development to the rural communities in the region.

“Let me say in clear terms that these are the kind of projects that are expected in our various communities, not only in the Niger Delta region but across the country because we are going towards renewable green and clean energy in the world over”, he said.

The Minister expressed regret that, though the Okpokunou community was connected to the national grid, it was not energized for the past 12 years but was happy that with the renewable energy by SAF-AGA Limited, it has now been connected.

“It is heartening to witness initiatives like Okpokunou Mini-Grid that address this critical need bringing clean energy and opportunities to communities that had hitherto without electricity supply for so many years.

“I have been told that for the past 12 years, in spite of the fact that this community was connected to the national grid before, for the past 12 years, this community hadn’t electricity supply. I think it’s a very good development that the SAF-AGA Renewable Energy Limited is able to do this for the community”, he said.

Chief Executive Officer of SAF-AGA Renewable Energy Limited, Dr. Godbless Safugha said the Okpokunou Mini-Grid has a capacity of 91 kWp and a storage system of 170 kWh, powering 330 households initially which can scale and grow with the community connecting up to 596 households and a capacity of 230 kWp addressing the community’s energy needs.

He disclosed that the Mini-Grid was part of a larger initiative with three other neighbouring communities sharing in the benefits of the company’s vision are “Ogriagbene, Enekoragha and Esama in Bomadi and Burutu Local Government areas respectively.

Safugha noted that with the successful inauguration of the Okpokunou Mini-Grid, the company expects collaboration with other government agencies to extend the reach of Mini-Grids to more communities in the region.

“We wish to use this opportunity to call on other government agencies such as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Delta State rural electricity board, Bayelsa State Electricity Holding Company limited, other international organisations and NGOs to join hands with SAF-AGA in our dream to light up the Niger Delta region and beyond.

“Together, let’s extend the reach of Mini-Grids to more communities, breaking the chains of energy poverty and unlocking the potential within these regions”, he added.

Chairman of Burutu Local Government, Hon Combolous Ikisa expressed appreciation to the firm for lighting up some communities in his council area.

He said though the project was private driven, the community should protect the facility and establish a good relationship with the firm by ensuring there was no interruption in its operations.

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