A 50 MW solar PV plant will be constructed next year in northern Nigeria after a $100 million development agreement was signed between renewable power developer Access Infra Africa and Nigerian Quaint Global Energy Solutions, a local asset management firm.
The ABIBA plant will be located in Kaduna state provided the development partners can negotiate a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
As soon as a PPA is signed, Access Infra Africa will be able to seek financing from banks, topping up the 30% equity it has already pledged as part of the $100 million development deal.
Quaint has already been the recipient of a $1.3 million development grant for the project from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.
Once completed, the solar farm will be the largest of its kind in Africa outside South Africa, and will supply clean energy to approximately 600,000 local homes.
In Nigeria, which suffers from chronic energy shortages due to its aging grid and ongoing natural gas constraints, securing viable PPAs has proven to be a damaging bottleneck, but NERC has recently announced a new feed-in tariff for renewable energy projects up to 30 MW, which should serve to make developments in the country more financially attractive to foreign investors.
Movement in the off-grid space has been more brisk, with the U.K. recently signing development agreements to deliver off-grid solar support to the country.