Nigeria, U.S. firm sign agreement on clean, reliable electricity

From left: Adam Cortese, CEO of Sun Africa, Amos Hochstein, the President Biden’s Special Presidential Coordinator for the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment(Standing) and Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, at the signing of the agreement in Washington DC, USA, December 14, 2022

The Federal Government and a U.S. firm, Sun Africa LLC, the largest U.S. renewable energy company operating in Africa, has signed a development and Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) implementation framework agreement for the construction of 5,000 MW of solar generation and 2,500 MWh of battery energy storage power plants for up to $10 billion investment from the U.S. government.

The Presidency, in a statement yesterday signed by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the agreement was signed at the US-Africa Business Forum (USABF) in Washington D.C.

The statement disclosed that the agreement was signed by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, on behalf of the Federal Government, and the CEO of Sun Africa, Adam Cortese, in the presence of Amos Hochstein, President Joe Biden’s Special Presidential Coordinator for the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment.

In his address last Tuesday, December 13, President Muhammadu Buhari had said: “As part of the National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy, we set the vision 30:30:30 which aims at achieving 30GW of electricity by 2030 with renewable energy contributing 30 per cent of the energy mix” in the presence of President Biden and other world leaders, and sought the United States’ support to achieve it.

Sun Africa, Sterling and Wilson Renewable Energy Limited (“S&W”), a leading U.S. and international solar EPC company, and the Nigerian government, have been working on the development of transformation grid-connected and mini-grids solar projects in multiple locations, including interconnection, electrification and smart meters infrastructure.

To ensure the broadest and most comprehensive approach to access electricity, Sun Africa is also implementing solar cabins and solar home systems where the mini-grids are not economically viable.

The project will be constructed in different phases across the six geopolitical zones and will provide clean, reliable and affordable electricity to more than 30 million people.

All the technical and financial due diligence activities for the Phase 1 of the project have been completed for the first five selected locations for the grid-connected solar projects of up to 961 MWp of solar and 455 MWh of battery energy storage. Subsequently, ING Bank, US EXIM Bank, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Debt Management Office (DMO) have concluded all the financial negotiations and are closing the financing terms for up to $2 billion. Construction of phase 1 is expected to start in the first quarter of 2023.

This transformative solar project is on top of the U.S. climate and sustainable energy agenda and has been prioritised as a strategic lead for the U.S., which is entirely in line with the Federal Government’s Energy Transition Plan, addressing clean and reliable energy supply, creating jobs and ensuring transfer of knowledge and technology.