Osun State Government and France have signed an agreement to build a 35million Euros (N8 billion) 13 megawatts (mW) solar plant in the state. Stephane Gompertz, France’s Ambassador for ClimateChange, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the project was the first of such magnitude to be signed in Nigeria. The agreement was signed by the Osun Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola and a French company, Vergnet, adding that France was supporting Nigeria in the area of renewable energy.
Gompertz said France had supported Nigeria’s power sector through its contracts and also through loans from the French Development Agency (AFD). He explained that the agreement to build the solar power plant also included training component to encourage transfer of technology. According to him, the more we develop new technologies, the more people are trained to manage or to invent those technologies, and this will on the long run contribute to the development.
He noted that in 2009, the Federal Government had assigned Vergnet to establish a wind farm of 10 mW in Katsina state for more than 20 million Euros (about N4.5 billion). The envoy said the farm, with 37 windmills, should start producing and be connected to the grid in the beginning of 2016.
Vergnet is a French wind turbine and solar energy panels manufacturer headquartered in Orléans. The company also produces water pumps installed in Africa. Vergnet wind turbines are small to midsize (the newest model is rated for 1mW) designed for operation in tropical countries: Caribbean, Africa, parts of Asia and South America. They are robust, designed to resist hurricanes (by parking the turbine close to the ground), and easy to assemble on site with self erecting components (no tall crane required) from factory-made kits.
Osun is an inland state in south-western Nigeria which has an area of 9,251 sq kn (3,572 sq mi) and a population of 4,137,627 (2005 est). Its capital is Osogbo. The state’s current governor is Rauf Aregbesola, who was declared as the winner of 2007 election by Appeal Court in Ibadan on 26 November 2010. Ogbeni was also re-elected on August 9, 2014. Osun is home to several of Nigeria’s most famous landmarks, including the campus of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Nigeria’s pre-eminent institution of higher learning. The university is also located in the ancient town of Ile-Ifẹ, an important early center of political and religious development for Yoruba culture.
The modern Osun was created in 1991 from part of the old Oyo State. The state’s name is derived from the River Osun, the venerated natural spring that is the manifestation of the Yoruba goddess of the same name.