By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
The Ondo State Government in partnership with an international consulting firm, Community Social Enterprises Limited (CESEL) on Wednesday launched the pilot implementation of Solar Micro-grid systems in Araromi Seaside, Ilaje Local Government Area of the state.
The launch of the microgrid system is as a result of the grant awarded to CESEL by the U.S Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) for a feasibility study supporting the rollout of photovoltaic microgrids across Nigeria for rural and quasi-urban communities that lack reliable access to electricity.
According to a statement from the Ondo State Investment and Development Promotion Agency (ONDIPA), CESEL selected 10 communities in the State to carry out the feasibility studies and have been actively working in these communities to maximize their solar energy potentials.
Therefore, to cater for communities that are off national grid and without access to electricity power supply, CESEL after consultations with the Ondo State Government through her Investment Promotion Agency, ONDIPA, agreed to partner with the State in expanding the number of selected communities for the Microgrid project to 50.
The microgrid systems would provide the selected communities stable and dependable power supply at a lower cost than petrol run generators and would operate on a ‘’pay as you go structure’’ with production and consumption monitored on a real-time basis.
Speaking on the partnership, the Principal Consultant of CESEL, Dr. Patrick Tolani stated that ‘’Today, Araromi Seaside, Ilaje serves as the inaugural community for the project due to its economic potentials. My decision to partner with Ondo state and expand the microgrid project is as a result of the genuine intent of Arakunrin Akeredolu to make positive impact on the state especially with the creation of ONDIPA. They reached out to me initially about my project when I wasn’t even interested in interfacing with the government.’’
Dr. Tolani further emphasized “The speed, effectiveness and transparency in ONDIPA gave me confidence and the assurances given by the Governor sealed the deal. It was through the agency I was able to connect with the relevant authorities to develop and expand the scope of my work in the state. ONDIPA should be emulated across other states in the country.”
In his remark, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ONDIPA, Mr. Boye Oyewumi described the project as one of the goals of the Arakurin Akerodolu led government to make Ondo State an investment Hub and to have a direct and immediate impact on the economic growth and sustainability of rural communities in the state.
Notable personalities present at Araromi to witness the project inauguration include the Special Adviser to the Governor on public utilities, Mr Tunji Light Ariyomo, the Chairman, Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC), Mr Gbenga Edema who also hails from the community and many other government officials.