DRIVING SOLAR ENERGY TO CATALYSE AGRIC ENERGY TRANSITION

December 24, 2020

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THE most productive places for solar power are farmlands, according to a study by Oregon State University (OSU), a public research university in Corvallis, Oregon, United States.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, finds that if less than one per cent of agricultural land was converted to solar panels, it would be sufficient to fulfill global electric energy demand. The concept of co-developing the same area of land for solar photovoltaic power and conventional agriculture is known as agrivoltaics.

“Our results indicate that there’s a huge potential for solar and agriculture to work together to provide reliable energy,” said corresponding author Chad Higgins, an associate professor in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

To this end, Rensource, a leading West African renewable energy services provider, has teamed up with Nigeria’s largest egg producer, Premium Poultry Farms, to deploy solar energy in the farm.

Rensource announced its entrance into the provision of Commercial & Industrial (C&I) solar with a project in partnership with the Norwegian impact investment company, Empower New Energy, to deploy a 700 Kept solar photovoltaic plant to Premium Poultry Farms.

“We take immense pride in being good stewards of the environment and are pleased to further enhance our efforts with this solution. “Sustainability is at the heart of the farm’s philosophy,” says Chairman of Premium Poultry Farms, Alhaji Mahey Rasheed.

“This project also allows us to benefit from the substantially lower energy costs offered by the solar PV technology and we are excited to become the largest solar-powered poultry farm in the country.”

The power plant, ground-mounted on Premium Poultry’s farm, will generate ca. 1-gigawatt hour of clean energy yearly, save up to 25 000 tons of CO2 in its lifetime and contribute to Abuja’s fight against local air pollution. The power plant is expected to operate for at least 25 years, according to the power purchase agreement signed between the off-taker Premium Poultry and Empower.

“This solution for Premium Poultry Farms, Nigeria’s largest egg producer, demonstrates our ability to meet the energy needs of a diverse array of industrial customers. We are honoured to supply affordable clean energy to further grow Nigeria’s critically important agricultural sector while cutting emissions,” said Ademola Adesina, founder and CEO of Rensource.

Premium Poultry Farms produces ca. 600 000 eggs daily and has its feed mill, making it Nigeria’s largest egg producer. The company prides itself on distributing and nourishing Nigerian families with quality eggs across the country.

This project, which is due to commence operations this month will have an important footprint in terms of sustainability. It will save up to 840 tonnes of CO2 emissions yearly and create 40 jobs during its construction and operations phase.

This landmark project is one of the largest power purchase agreements for solar energy signed in the C&I sector in Nigeria and will represent the poultry industry’s largest single clean energy project.

The founding Chief Executive Officer, Empower New Energy, Terje Osmundsen, added: “Empower is very pleased to collaborate with Rensource Energy to finance this project with Premium Poultry Farms, which reflects the success, dynamism, and growth of Nigeria’s renewable energy sector.

‘’Our investment fund is poised to accelerate Africa’s transition to clean energy and this is evident in how quickly we have able to mobilise financing for this crucial project.”

 

Source: The Nation Online

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