Federal government-owned public utility, the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET), has signed the country’s first ever solar power purchase agreement (PPA) with more than ten project developers, totalling 975MW of utility-scale solar. The first official project to be implemented under the 20-year PPA is a 96MWdc solar plant in Katsina state, to be developed by Pan Africa Solar, in collaboration with JCM Power (formerly JCM Capital), an Ontario-based developer. According to JCM Power’s Chief Development Officer, Justin Woodward, the project’s capital cost is approximately US$146 million and is expected to hit financial close in mid 2017. The signing of the PPA with the federal government of Nigeria is a significant breakthrough for the project, which has been under development since 2011. It also features single axis trackers and is being financed by the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) as the leading debt syndicate. Also according to Woodward, the plant will sell power at a fixed rate of US$11.5¢/kWh.
The commissioning of the Katsina project is a giant step forward for Nigeria’s solar progress; constituting the largest plant of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa, (excluding South Africa, which has seen many successful tenders as of late), and is set to provide enough clean electricity to power 1.1 million Nigerian homes.