In their efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Union and German Government have installed a solar hybrid system at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) National Reference Laboratory.

The 260 kilowatt peak of PV and 500 kilowatt hours battery which is connected to a transformer is expected to provide 24 hours power supply to the laboratory and also serve 120 medical professionals with uninterrupted power supply for the fight against Covid-19 and other diseases in the country.

The solar hybrid system deployment covers 405,150 kWh which is 37 percent of the energy consumption by the National Reference Laboratory annually.

Commissioning the project at NCDC, the Minister of Power, Engineer Sale Mamman said the installation is in support of the federal government’s efforts at enhancing off-grid energy supply to critical sector. He expressed excitement that the project will save the centre the cost of alternative power supply.

“The solar system reduces power supply cost and assures reliable and uninterrupted electricity supply to around 120 medical professionals”, he said.

On his part, the Deputy Head of European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Alexandre Borges-Gomes said the project is a significant part of the European Union’s assistance to the Nigerian Government’s emergency response to the pandemic.

He said, “Supporting nigeria’s testing laboratories with reliable power supply is essential to cope with the pandemic in the country. Further activities to support the power supply for medical facilities of the NCDC and other key public institutions are planned”.

Also speaking, the German Deputy Ambassador, Mr. Helmut Kulitz underscore the relationship between electricity access and health.

“Solar systems like the one deployed at NCDC NRL helps enhance the performance of medical facilities and as a result, end up saving lives. This stand true not only for medical facilities in urban areas like these, but also for the medical facilities that the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP) has electrified via mini-grid projects in rural areas”, he said.

Furthermore, aside saving the country about N80 million yearly from diesel consumption and disposing of the two installed generators, 365.58 tons of C02 will be saved yearly. This effort is aimed at fighting climate change in line with the Paris agreement.

The solar hybrid system is implemented through NESP, a technical assistance programme co-funded by the European Union and the German Government and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in collaboration with the ministry of power.