Sabon Gari Market

Replacing diesel gen- sets with clean energy​

Vegetables, cosmetics, apparel, you name it and you can buy it at Sabon Gari market in Kano (Nigeria). It is a humongous market with 12,000 shops, like a ‘Mini Africa‘. Thousands of shop owners are trying to get the attention of shoppers with bargains and price negotiations everywhere. If you are in Nigeria it is definitely worth a visit. 72% of these shops were generating their own energy with diesel generators.
The reason: unreliable and erratic grid supply. Apart from unbearable smoke, the generators also produced a lot of noise in the already noisy market. Added to this misery, generators also caused destructive fires leading to the loss of millions of Naira.
But not anymore, a very large solar minigrid was built to meet the energy demands of the market. How large? 1.6MWp to be precise. That was needed to power the 12,000 shops. The installation was a challenge. Since the markets are densely packed, there is not much space to install 1.6 MWhr of batteries and inverters. Therefore, 160 boxes of 10 kWhr each were installed at multiple locations, which are powering 60-80 shops.

This not just solved the problem of space, but also helped with reliability. Lets say one of these boxes fail due to some unknown reason, only these 60 shops are affected, while the others are powered still. This project with 1.6 MWp of solar power, is the largest decentralised solar powered mini-grid in Nigeria.

Since 2018, the year the mini-grid was installed, the shops in the market never had to switch on the diesel genset. There have been no fire incidents, people are happy not to breathe diesel fumes, only voices of the people are heard in the market now and genset noise has gone missing. This project was one of the first mini-grids in Nigeria.

It proved that mini-grids can be commercially viable in Nigeria. Moreover, it has been a successful model project for other project developers in the region. The project greatly reduced the power bills of the shop owners, provided them with reliable and clean solar power. This project won the ‘Excellence in Climate Solutions‘ award at the Transformational Business Awards ceremony, which is also known as ‘the Oscars of the renewables world’.

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Kano, Nigeria

Offgrid | Mini grid


1.6 MWp of solar PV
800 kVA of Inverter Power
1.6 MWh installed lithium capacity