Canadian solar power company SkyPower has this week announced a collaboration with Middle East renewable energy provider FAS Energy to deliver 3 GW of solar PV projects to Nigeria over the next five years.
The creation of SkyPower FAS Energy a joint venture between the two companies has led to the signing of an agreement with both the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Delta State Government for the development, construction and operation of a portfolio of PV projects in the West African country.
The deal is regarded as a momentous milestone for all involved, particularly Nigeria, which has recently begun pursuing viable avenues towards a more renewable power supply. The foundational agreement struck pledges to draw up a multi-phase development and build schedule, with the ultimate aim the creation of clean, sustainable and cost-effective solar PV energy to support Nigeria's growing thirst for electricity.
SkyPower FAS Energy will work closely with the government of Nigeria in the planning, financing and construction of the 3 GW PV capacity, which will revolve around the creation of a number of utility scale solar parks designed for connection to the Nigerian power grid. The first of these parks is penciled in for commercial operation in early 2015, with the remaining capacity to be built in over the next five years.
The agreement was struck at the World Economic Forum on Africa, During a collusion between the Canadian and Nigerian governments on a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA), with Canada represented by the Honourable Christian Paradis minister of international development for Canada; and Nigeria represented by the Honourable Olusegun Olutoyin Aganga minister of trade and investment for the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
"This is a truly proud moment for SkyPower FAS Energy," said SkyPower Global CEO and president, Kerry Adler. "Global partnerships such as these are key to bringing together extensive expertise from around the world.
"The signing of these landmark agreements demonstrates the shared vision of a partnership that will further stimulate the vibrant, fast-growing Nigerian economy and substantially impact the state and country's GDPs, resulting in increased employment and skills training. We applaud the leadership of the Delta State and Federal Nigerian governments for embracing this initiative and demonstrating their continued commitment to reducing carbon emissions and harnessing the power of solar PV."
The general manager of SkyPower FAS Energy, Sabri Asfour, added that the agreement would generate a large number of new jobs in the region, as well as supporting skills development and increasing the prosperity of the regions in which the projects will be built.
Nigeria's solar appetite has grown in the past 12 months, with the country's ministers keen to tap into the abundance of the solar resource that Nigeria is blessed with. Foreign assistance has been sought, most notably in October last year when the Nigerian National Energy Council partnered with the German government to initiate a 420 MW solar PV project across its northern states.
The project was the pilot program for the Nigerian Power Reform Act, which stipulates that 5% of the country's power generation must come from renewable sources by 2020.
More recently, in April the U.K. government funded a joint Nigerian-Israeli project to deliver off-grid solar solutions to some of Nigerias more remote communities.
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