In Abuja, Nigeria, Tesla Powerpack batteries have been installed to help supply the capital’s government buildings with renewable energy. The plant, which includes a 2.1 MW solar hybrid system paired with Tesla industrial-grade batteries, aims to reduce the reliance of capital on backup gas and generators powered by diesel.
The Solar + Powerpack installation, as noted by Damilola Ogunbiyi, a special representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, was led by a team of female solar technicians trained by the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency (REA). REA is a government agency that seeks to encourage, organize and provide country-wide rural electrification.
The project also plays a notable role in helping the country shift away from fossil fuel-powered solutions, apart from the project being a perfect example of how the Women in STEM movement is gaining ground. Nigeria’s use of fossil fuels was highlighted in a report released by the International Finance Corporation in 2019. The World Bank Group commented in the report that Nigeria is home to a large-scale demand for backup generators.
As much as $17 billion is spent per year on industrial-grade diesel and gas generators, according to figures from the Nigeria Labor Congress. These devices are used at institutional, industrial, and large housing sites. This is not everything, however. Nigeria is also noted for its extensive use of small generators of gasoline. Despite the government’s efforts against them due to pollution concerns, machines such as two-stroke generators that burn a mixture of gasoline and lubricating oil have been common in the nation.
In the Nigerian capital, the PowerPack system may only be a small step towards sustainability, but these steps are crucial as the transition to renewable energy begins. Perhaps even residential battery units such as the Tesla Powerwall and grid-scale batteries such as the Megapack could also find a home in the West African region, given that Nigeria is a market for backup generators.