A memorandum of understanding has recently been signed between the French company Schneider Electric and EM-ONE Energy Solutions, an engineering company specialising in renewable energies and based in Nigeria. The two companies will collaborate to produce and distribute solar mini grids.
Solar mini grids will soon be produced in Nigeria. This will be the result of a framework agreement that has been signed between the French company Schneider Electric and EM-ONE Energy Solutions, based in Abuja, Nigeria. “Instead of importing mini-grids produced in Europe, Asia or North America, we want to build an African mini-grids industry with operators, integrators, investors and locally created jobs,” said Paul-François Cattier, Schneider Electric’s Director of Africa and Middle East Economic Development.
A strategic alliance
EM-ONE Energy is already well established in Nigeria. It supplies solar off-grid systems to factories and businesses. In fact, it is currently installing a 1.52 MW solar off grid on the roof of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Energy, Works and Housing. “EM-ONE Energy Solutions has already won a contract to supply 30 mini-grids in Nigeria to supply hospitals in Kaduna State, and is also targeting the university and rural electrification market,” said Paul-François Cattier, to justify the partnership with EM-ONE.
He added that “The memorandum of understanding concerns Schneider’s support to optimise the architecture of these projects, and the development of an industrial platform for the integration of these mini-grids into containers in Nigeria, as well as the licensed manufacture of Schneider Electric mini-grids”.
Schneider Electric is also well known on the African continent, particularly in Kenya where it has just started marketing locally produced mini-containerised grids. This new partnership is also a way for it to explore the large Nigerian market, which is favourable to off-grid companies, particularly because of the shortcomings of the country’s national electricity grid. Many companies that suffer power outages are increasingly turning to the solar off grid. Entering the Nigerian market could also be a way for the leader in digital energy transformation and automation, Schneider Electric, to explore the West and Central African market.
For the implementation of their project, Schneider Electric and EM-ONE Energy will rely on companies that will provide the equipment, design and build (EPC) the solar mini grids. The off-grid systems that the two companies intend to provide to businesses and rural areas will have between 7 and 63 kW capacity. Schneider Electric estimates that it could also install mini-grids capable of supplying up to 500 kW of electricity, enough to power a small town of 10,000 people.
Jean Marie Takouleu