Israeli and Nigerian firms team up on off-grid project

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Those living in remote communities in Nigeria will soon have access to small-scale solar energy utilities. The venture will be the fruit of a deal between the phone company MTN Nigeria and Israel-based manufacturer Nova-Lumos.

Funding for the project has been achieved through support from the UK government and GSMA’s Mobile Enabled Community Services Innovation Grant Fund.

David Vortman, CEO and co-founder at Nova-Lumos, said, "We are very excited about our partnership with MTN which will enable us to distribute the Nova-Lumos power systems across Nigeria and touch millions of lives," said "One of our guiding principles is that the Nova-Lumos service must be affordable and accessible to anyone in Nigeria in order to have a meaningful impact on the Nigerian electricity market," he emphasized.

Customers of the deal will be able to use a solar panel and indoor unit to power lights, cellphones, fans, PCs, laptop computers, radios, TVs, and other small electronic devices. Payment for the service will be made through mobile phone. The first systems are set to be made publicly available at MTN service points in the near future. The units’ implementation is designed to replace the use of kerosene, candles, and flashlights that are common across rural parts of Nigeria. In fact, pv magazine reported last year, “If Nigeria, […] replaced all of the kerosene, candles and batteries used annually for off-grid lighting, it could save over $1.4 billion annually or the equivalent of 17.3 million barrels of crude oil.”