The University of Ilorin, Kwara State, has reportedly signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with an American company, Arrow Capital Solar Company, to produce 500 mega watts of solar energy.
This project, which allegedly N600 billion costs is aimed at ensuring that the institution has an uninterrupted supply of electricity
According to TheNewsNigeria, the project will commence immediately and will be completed in October, 2016. This is arguable the first of its kind in the Nigerian varsities.
Chief Executive Officer of Arrow Capital Solar Company, Brian Travis, while addressing the press said, the project is driven by a private sector and is an “absolute demonstration of private sector initiative by the American company in Nigeria.”
Travis also added that UNILORIN was chosen for the project because of its strategic location, pointing out that the institution is an ideal location for solar power, especially that the backbone of the electricity distribution in the country runs through the line of the institution.
He also added that his company was buoyed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s announcement during his official visit to America that Nigeria was highly committed to solar power.
“The project is roughly N600 billion and is expected, when completed in about five months time, to produce 500 mega watts of solar energy.
” It is going to supply 10 percent of power to Nigeria; we have three major grids and with significant power we will extend to Lagos, Kano and other parts of the country. “
In response to this development, Vice Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali has said expressed his excitement for the project.
He said: “We at the University of Ilorin see the project as an opportunity to contribute to the efforts of the federal government of Nigeria in terms of power generation and distribution.
” Again, we are looking at the benefits the University will derive from the whole exercise, among which is the constant power supply to our university. We cannot over emphasise the need for that because we have a lot of departments that depend on constant power supply, most especially our biomedical research. We recently commissioned a Centre for Research Laboratory and we have quite a number of research groups being encouraged to do research and we all know that we cannot carry out scientific research appropriately without constant power supply.“
Ambali also added that this development will go a long way to encourage the graduate students of the university in their research to generate data that would be acceptable and comparable to others across the globe.