NIGERIA: REA urgently installs mini-grids for Covid-19 care centres

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NIGERIA: REA urgently installs mini-grids for Covid-19 care centres©REA

The urgency of the Covid-19 pandemic has led Nigeria's Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to install several solar hybrid systems for the care of people infected with the coronavirus. These facilities were built in just two weeks.

Covid-19 is already reaching several states in Nigeria. In the face of this health crisis, the government is making great efforts. As part of its policy to respond to the new coronavirus, on the instruction of the Nigerian Federal Minister of Electricity, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has put in place an emergency programme that allowed the installation of off-grid solar systems for the care centres for infected people.

To build these facilities, the REA relied on several private companies, including Blue Camel Energy, based in Abuja, the Nigerian capital. The company has installed the largest solar hybrid power plant in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria. It is a 53.1 kW facility that provides electricity to the Isolation Centre of the University of Abuja Hospital (UATH).

Facilities built in 14 days

In the megacity of Lagos, tests for people suspected of carrying the new coronavirus are carried out in the public health laboratory of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). To optimize the operation of the facility, the REA has also installed a solar hybrid power plant with a capacity of 25 kW.

Two off-grid solar systems have also been installed in Ogun State in southwest Nigeria. At the Ikenne Isolation Centre, where the government has installed 128 beds for Covid-19 patients, a 20 kW solar power plant was recently commissioned. With a capacity of 100 beds, the Iberekodo Isolation Centre has benefited from a small 10 kW solar hybrid system.

All the solar hybrid plants were installed within two weeks. “The implementation of these facilities will provide clean, safe and reliable electricity to enable our health workers to thrive in the fight against Covid-19 disease,” said Malam Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, REA Director General, during the handover of the solar power plant for the UATH in Abuja.

In Nigeria, Covid-19 cases have been detected in seven states, with the worst affected being Lagos with 306 confirmed cases. Across the country, the government has identified 541 people infected with the coronavirus.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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