Nova-Lumos awarded DfID grant for Northern Nigeria off-grid projects

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Nova-Lumos operates a PAYG solar system in partnership with Nigeria's telecommunications giant MTN. Credit: Nova-Lumos

Off-grid solar specialist Nova-Lumos has received a £150,000 (US$219,000) grant from the SolarNigera Programme (SNP), an initiative of the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) implemented by Adam Smith International, to help accelerate its operations in northern Nigeria.

Nova-Lumos provides residential solar systems under a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model. This allows consumers to use mobile payments and transfer cash via text messaging to pay for power in advance. This alleviates a major hurdle for solar firms in Africa, which is the high upfront cost of PV systems.

The firm is in partnership with MTN, Nigeria’s largest telecommunications provider, which will help the service expand across Nigeria, claims Nova-Lumos.

Speaking to PV Tech at the Solar and Off-grid Renewables West Africa conference in Accra, Ghana, Ron Margalit, principal, impact financing atNova-Lumos, said the firm decided 80W was the best-suited system size, which is on the larger side of most off-grid products. Customers can use their existing airtime balance with MTN to buy electricity from Nova-Lumos.

Consumers can pay for three days, one week, or one, three and six months and the solar systems only operate on the days for which electricity has been purchased, which also gives a greater level of security for the panels.

Margalit added: “There is definitely a need for some more risk-orientated financiers, whether it would be DFIs or multilateral development banks or impact funders to come and take the initial risk of financing. The biggest challenge of this sector would be eventually how to [get] commercial oriented and institutional investor funders.”

The SolarNigeria grant complements the recent $15 million financing that Nova-Lumos secured from the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), to fund the deployment of over 75,000 systems across Nigeria this year.

Currently, 90 million Nigerians live without connection to the grid and the country has just 3GW installed power capacity to cater for 170 million residents.

Last week PV Tech reported that a lack of communication around ownership had led to a significant number of failures of solar-based products in Nigeria such as street lamps.

PV Tech also recently visited a school in Ghana that is benefitting from solar energy and low power computers.

Read Next

January 14, 2021
West African off-grid solar electricity supplier raises US$38 million to expand its operations in in Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Togo.
October 21, 2020
Travel restrictions imposed by countries in response to the coronavirus pandemic have contribution to a slowdown in investment in rural electrification projects. Thomas Hillig examines the extent of the investment freeze and possible solutions to get capital flowing into much needed projects again
February 18, 2020
New report finds off-grid solar has come a long way but continues to require major investment to serve the remaining 840 million people that still have no access to power.
December 9, 2019
AfDB's Sahel programme will sponsor the development of four 52MWp plants to help the energy-impoverished West African nation boost capacity by 15%.
November 28, 2019
Total Quadran, French energy company Total’s renewables subsidiary has completed the Helio Bououparis 2 solar farm on New Caledonia and ENGIE EPS, formerly Electro Power Systems, the energy storage system (ESS) for the New Caledonia island of Lifou.
September 6, 2019
Newly-launched project at Bayero University Kano (BUK) will use solar (3.5MWp) and batteries (8.1MWh) to power universities and teaching hospitals.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
January 26, 2022
Free Webinar
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 8, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal