Nova-Lumos secures DFID grant for Nigerian off-grid projects

Michael Mazengarb flickr solar panelNetherlands-based off-grid electricity provider, Nova-Lumos, has been awarded a US$218,745 grant to develop off-grid electricity projects in Nigeria

The grant has been provided by the SolarNigeria Programme (SNP), an initiative of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). The partnership between Nova-Lumos and SNP is expected to provide an estimated 90 mn off-grid homes and small businesses in northern Nigeria access clean and affordable electricity.

Nova-Lumos provides residential solar systems under a pay-as-you-go model, which allows consumers to use mobile payments to pay for power in advance, thereby overcoming the hurdle of high upfront cost of PV systems. The system provides a home with a solar panel linked to an indoor connections unit enabling the customer to access power on demand.

The company functions in partnership with MTN, the Nigerians telecommunications provider and allows customers to use their existing airtime balance with MTN to buy electricity from Nova-Lumos.

SolarNigeria head of consumer markets Leigh Vial said, “Millions of Nigerian households could today save money while enjoying bright light and clean power using solar instead of kerosene lanterns and small generators. So why do they not already use it?”

“They need someone trustworthy to make quality solar products available to them in their village, and they need to be able to pay for it over time. This requires capable companies to invest in the market, to reach the customers, and to enable financing.”

The SolarNigeria grant complements the recent US$15mn financing that Nova-Lumos secured from the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to fund the deployment of more than 75,000 systems across Nigeria this year.

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