President Buhari propels Kano’s industrial growth with 10 MW of Solar Energy

Paving the Way for a Greener and More Efficient Solar Energy in the Kano Industry"

by Vincent Godstime

Despite commissioning the 10MW Challawa Kano Solar Power Project, the daily electricity distribution of 250-360 Megawatts Hour by Kano DISCO may be considered insignificant by some.

The 10MW Challawa Kano Solar Power Plant, despite being overlooked by some, holds great significance and impact. It represents a milestone in the Nigerian power sector as the first project of its kind and also as the largest grid-connected solar power plant in the country. This project serves as a testament to the possibility of delivering successful large-scale renewable energy projects in Nigeria and a clear signal towards growth in the power sector.

The commissioning of the 10MW Challawa Kano Solar Power Plant is a personal accomplishment for President Muhammadu Buhari, who is widely known as a champion in raising awareness and combating climate change. He is a strong supporter of biodiversity and clean energy sources. For President Buhari, the degradation of the natural environment, whether through excessive carbon emissions or the destruction of ecosystems, is unacceptable and is the root cause of many security, economic, and social challenges such as terrorism, banditry, hunger, and poverty.

The 10MW Challawa Kano Solar Power Plant was designed to generate clean energy that is free of greenhouse gas emissions and reduces air pollution.

The goal of this project is to power the Challawa Water Works, which is the primary source of public water for the city of 4-5 million people, and to provide a steady source of electricity for streetlights in the state capital, thereby improving security. By alleviating the strain on the overburdened power distribution system serving the Challawa industrial estate, the city’s second largest industrial area, the project aims to drive industrial production and encourage other companies to invest in increased capacity, enabling them to reach full utilization.

According to information obtained, the process of choosing contractors for the 10MW Challawa Kano Solar Power Plant was done with a specific aim in mind. Each local contractor was paired with a foreign one, and vice versa, to promote local participation and to facilitate the transfer of technical knowledge. The goal of this approach is to allow the power sector to grow and mature to the point where it will be able to undertake complex technical projects independently in the future, without the need for foreign involvement.

The Kano state government was faced with a pressing deadline set by the President to respond to certain requirements in a timely manner. The Presidency raised the question of whether the government would be able to meet the deadline. However, Governor Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and his Deputy, Gawuna, did not disappoint.

Within one week, the governor provided the President with a registered Certificate of Occupancy for a 24-hectare parcel of land valued at N322 million, meeting the requirement for approval. An agreement was signed establishing an ownership structure, with the federal government holding 80% ownership, the Kano state government 15%, and Kumbotso Local Government 5%. The power generated from the plant will be supplied directly to the distribution system.

On January 4, 2019, the President issued a directive for the transfer of N4.71 billion from the Development of Natural Resources Development Account to the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA). This was in response to a request from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

The President selected the NSIA to manage the funds and oversee the development and construction of the Challawa Kano Solar Power Project due to their reputation for transparency and commitment to high environmental and social standards. Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic uncertainties, the NSIA was able to deliver the project, albeit with some delays.

According to reports, Kano, a city home to 15-16 million people, is expected to surpass Lagos as the most populous state in Nigeria. The city has experienced significant growth in recent years, particularly in its rice processing industry, with over 60 integrated rice mills currently operating in the area. This has resulted in a growing demand for energy to support the city’s growing population.

On Monday 31st of January, President Buhari  commissioned a new solar power plant in Kano, putting the city at the forefront of the fight against climate change. The commissioning marks the President’s push towards renewable energy sources, as he aims to decarbonize the power sector and reduce air pollution. The establishment of this solar power plant is expected to transform Kano from a semi-arid state to a solar state, marking a significant step forward in the combat against climate change.

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