Solad Power Group has connected its 10,000th small business to affordable and reliable power across its portfolio of mini-grids in Nigeria, marking a significant milestone in the company’s growth and development.
Solad is a participant in Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA) Mini Grid component under the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP). The company is a core investor in the Sura shopping complex, the Sabon Gari Market and a joint venture partner in the Virtus portfolio of decentralised energy projects across the country. Collectively, Solad is an investor in, or operator of, 12 mini-grids across Nigeria, each of which provides clean, affordable and reliable power to market traders.
Solad focuses on under-served segments of the energy market, prioritising support for the millions of small businesses who struggle with access to unreliable or prohibitively expensive energy solutions. SMEs make up 96% of all businesses operating in Nigeria, contributing nearly 50% of GDP and providing 84% of all jobs in the country. They consistently reference access to electricity as the single most important obstacle that they face.
To accelerate access, Solad has expanded the scope of its operations to include the provision of solar technology solutions for individual businesses, which will be rolled out alongside its integrated mini-grids. An order for the first systems has been placed, with the roll out expected to begin in June 2021. The Company was approved as a Solar Home Systems (SHS) supplier by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) in December 2020 and is now eligible for the Output Based Grant available under the Nigerian Electrification Project (NEP). Under the grant system, SHS suppliers are refunded 20% for every system installed, as an incentive to support the programme’s target of powering 1 million households and 90,000 SMEs.
The individual solar systems will be rolled out in markets that SOLAD has identified as part of its expansion programme and will enable businesses to access power immediately. Interested businesses are encouraged to register on the solad website.
Commenting on the agreement, Solad Power Group’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer for Nigeria, Yewande Olagbende said: “Connecting our 10,000th small business is an achievement we are extremely proud of, and a clear validation of the unmet demand for affordable and reliable power amongst Nigeria’s millions of small businesses. But this is just the beginning of our journey. In addition to our existing investment programme to roll out more mini-grids in market clusters across the country, we are now able to provide individual businesses and homes with dedicated power solutions that can be installed rapidly. This is an opportunity we are very excited about, allowing us to rapidly expand our customer base further.
This is particularly important for households and small businesses which have been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our ability to provide them with reliable power solutions that simultaneously reduce costs as well as mitigating the environmental damage associated with power generation means we can embed a sustainable, long term solution at a time it is most needed”.