European Union and the Lithuanian government have awarded a N600 million grant to the Kwara State University (KWASU) Malete, to install 300 kilowatts of solar power project 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.
This was disclosed by the director, Centre for Sustainable Development, Professor Kajogbola Ajao, while speaking to journalists during an inspection to the solar farm of the institution.
He said that the grant was won through a proposal written and defended by the academic 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 generator and other high energy systems.
The don commended the leadership focus of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mohammed 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 programme, making 300kw. One of the first things the new VC did was to create a centre 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 a 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 the generator 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 portfolio worldwide. This initiative will support teaching, learning, and security of lives,” he said.