Uche Cecil Izuora
Rensource, a solar developer has entered into a Power Purchase Agreement, PPA with Baze University to design and finance a Solar PV – Diesel Hybrid captive power plant for their Abuja campus.
Construction on the 5MW solar solution is the first phase of the project and is expected to come on stream by the first quarter of 2023.
The eventual installation will generate more than 2,000MWh of clean energy annually. It should help the university avoid 3,000 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions over the project’s lifespan.
Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Rensource, Prince Ojeabulu explained the system would be islanded from the Nigerian utility grid “but the solution is designed to work seamlessly with the university’s existing power sources of diesel generation and grid connection.”
“The installation will produce up to 30% of the university’s energy demand,” said Ojeabulu. This should reduce the university’s energy costs by almost 20%.
Founded in 2011, the campus houses six academic departments and 4,000 students. The new installation will also power the recently commissioned Baze University Teaching Hospital – a 200-bed training hospital.
David Ogbonna, deputy vice chancellor of Baze University, said Rensource was a clear choice for them when looking for a partner to develop a solar installation for the campus. “Baze University identified Rensource as having the engineering and technical ability to deliver this project, and we look forward to being partners with them for years to come,” said Ogbonna.
“We are going to be using 545Wp roof-mounted JA solar panels. The solution did not include battery storage at the start since Baze University wants to understand its energy consumption over a few-year period before deciding to invest in energy storage,” Ojeabulu detailed the system.
The PPA model means Rensource will provide energy to the university over a 20-year period. During this time the solar developer would have full ownership of the plant and be fully responsible for O&M.
Ojeabulu explained that the university and solar development managements teams are working out a framework that would allow the Faculty of Engineering to be involved in the construction, operations and management of the Solar PV plant.
Right now the top priority is to deliver the first 1.5MWp PV section for the plant to meet the immediate needs of the campus. ”Then, to continue to scale up as the university expands, most notably with the recent commissioning of the Baze University Teaching Hospital and building of more student accommodation facilities,” said Ojeabulu.