Empower New Energy delivers first-of-its-kind solar PV + battery energy storage system for Justrite Superstores in Nigeria

Empower New Energy, in collaboration with its technical partners, Powercell Limited and Huawei, announces the commissioning of a pioneering rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) plant and battery energy storage system (BESS) for Justrite Superstores, the leading neighbourhood retail supermarket chain in Nigeria.
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This installation, the first of its kind in the West African supermarket chain space, represents a total investment of US$6.5 million, fully financed by Empower. Commemorating this significant achievement, a formal inauguration ceremony was held, which was attended by His Excellency Mr. Svein Bæra, the Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, as well as Dr. Joseph Onoja, Director General of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, ably represented by Mr. Ayodele Alamu and other distinguished guests from the Lagos state government and the private sector.

The systems commissioned include solar PV and battery energy storage systems at two of Justrite’s retail locations in Lagos State: Abule Egba and Ikorodu. The Abule Egba site features a 270 kWp solar installation paired with a 600 kWh battery system, while the Ikorodu site boasts a 400 kWp solar array and an 800 kWh battery storage system. All installations are equipped with ComAp’s smart energy management technologies, which facilitate the seamless integration and operation of the solar panels with other power sources. The openings at the two sites are part of an ongoing larger project, already in progress, to install similar systems across a total of ten Justrite Superstore branches. The complete project spans Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo states, totalling a capacity of 3,050 kWp of solar PV and 6,000 kWh of battery storage. The solarisation of all ten Superstores, estimated to secure about 400 jobs directly and indirectly, will be completed by the end of July this year.

Each year, the installed systems will generate approximately 5.3 GWh of clean electricity, meeting up to 85% of the total energy needs for the ten Justrite Superstore branches. This energy production will allow Justrite to reduce its carbon emissions by about 2,453 tonnes annually, amounting to roughly 61,347 tonnes over the system’s lifetime. Given that energy production is responsible for 60% of Nigeria’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), these reductions align with Nigeria’s commitment under the Paris Agreement to achieve a 47% reduction of carbon emissions by 2030. Through this first-of-its-kind solar + battery initiative, largely replacing energy from diesel gensets, Justrite Superstores showcases the significant role that Nigeria’s Commercial and Industrial sectors can play in Nigeria’s energy transition.

Speaking on the development, Dr. Ayodele Aderinwale, Chairman of Justrite, noted, “The decision to switch to solar power and battery storage came from seeing our electricity costs rise year after year, eating into the heart of our business. It’s been very challenging to grapple with unreliable grid power and soaring diesel prices. ”. He went further: “This transition marks a new chapter for Justrite, an example I hope other chain stores will consider —not just for their own benefit but also as a step towards Nigeria’s sustainable growth”.

Terje Osmundsen, CEO of Empower New Energy, also commented, “We have been thrilled to work with the pioneering and visionary grocery chain, Justrite, to see West Africa’s first-of-its-kind solar + battery plant of this scale for a retail business come to life. Despite its complexities, it took less than eight months for Empower and its technical partners, Powercell and Huawei, to bring the project through the stages of contracting, detailed design, procurement, import certification, construction, and commissioning. This project shows the powerful role that decentralised solar investments in the C & I sector can play for Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa to meet its sustainability targets”

“In a time when Nigeria urgently needs foreign investments to implement its economic and energy transition, we are extremely happy and proud to see Empower New Energy leading the way through this innovative investment here in Nigeria. Renewable energy is a winner for business, the environment and climate. This project further strengthens the partnership between our two nations,” said Svein Bæra, Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria.

“Energy is the foundation of industry and commerce development in Nigeria. Renewable energy such as photovoltaic has ushered in the best development era. Huawei Digital Power helps Justrite build the first green supermarket in Nigeria and even in West Africa. We will also provide the high-quality, high-reliability, and high- security smart PV and energy storage system solutions for Nigeria. This solution will help many companies greatly reduce the cost of fuel and improve the stability and safety of electricity production,” said Jie Lu, Huawei Nigeria CEO & Chairman.

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