KWASU Benefits N600m EU Solar Power Grant

Date: 2021-04-23

European Union and the Lithuanian Government awarded a N600 million grant to the Kwara State University (KWASU) Malete to install 300 kilowatts of solar power projects in the institution.

The first phase of the project, which is 100 kilowatts solar power project, worth about N114 million was already being installed to improve learning and research activities, including social and security purposes.

Speaking with journalists during an inspection visit to the solar farm of the state university, the director, Centre for Sustainable Development, Professor Kajogbola Ajao, said that the grant was won through a proposal written and defended by a staff of the institution, Mr Teslim Balogun.

Professor Ajao, who said that the university intended to produce five megawatts of solar electricity in the next few years, added that the aim is to phase out the use of power generators and other high energy systems.

The don commended the leadership focus of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mustapha Akanbi, who he said encouraged local and international sourcing of grant and creation of Centre for Sustainable Energy Development in the university.

“What the new VC met on the ground was a system that has low energy component in power supply. Through the effort of the past administration, we were able to attract 240kw of the solar system from Tetfund, and another 60kw from the Needs Assessment Program, making 300kw. One of the first things the new VC did was to create a center for sustainable energy to be able to aggregate all energy components and add to the energy portfolio of KWASU.

“One of the first things we did was to source for the grant within and outside the country and the team had reached out to different funding agencies within and outside the country. We thank the government and the people of Lithuania for the grant worth 300kw of solar power system which matches what is on the ground. A couple of weeks ago, we received 100kw from the 300kw approved and we promise to make better use of it to get the remaining 200kw.

“Our intention is to put KWASU on nothing less than 5mw of solar electricity. We are also looking at other sources of energy support like wind, bio-energy, and some other areas of energy support. We aim to phase out generators and other high-energy systems.

“The intention is not just to support what is ground but to also ensure training of the students on the solar energy system. We may be the first university in Nigeria to do that because as we speak we have about 3,000 students undergoing training on solar energy and system installation and operation. We are looking at producing energy entrepreneurs, CEOs of the future that will promote energy portfolios worldwide. This initiative will support teaching, learning, and security of lives,” he said.

Also speaking, the project manager, Centre for Sustainable Development, KWASU, who is also the coordinator of the UNESCO office chair on Alternative and Renewable Energy in the university, Mr. Teslim Balogun, said that the project would save the institution millions of naira spent on diesel to power generators.

“We are concerned about the cleaner energy source. That’s why we sourced grants to deal with renewable energy, greener solution, ways to mitigate the effect of global climate change, ICT, and rural electrification because the solar panel is one of the energy sources around the world.

“I applied for the grant with all that’s required among about 1,000 people around the world and my proposal was approved in collaboration with a Lithuanian solar company and government.

“The project will benefit the university by bringing energy solutions to the school at no cost since it’s a grant. Such facilities in the school like the street lights, school libraries, clinic, charging points, administration units will make use of it. It has a way of saving the school lots of money that could have gone into buying diesel for the power generators. It also has a way of starting the future collaboration with the Lithuanian government in other areas of development,” he said

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