LERC conducts public hearing on ENERGICITY Liberia Proposal to Electrify Gbarpolu County

MONROVIA: ENERGICITY Liberia has presented a proposal to residents of Gbarpolu County and the Board of Commissioners (BoC) of the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC) on how it will provide access to electricity in ten communities in the county.

Mr. Femi A. Coker, Director for Market Development, speaking at a public hearing organized by the Commission on 5 April 2024 informed the BoC that following extensive engagements with the Rural Renewal Energy Agency (RREA) and the Liberia Electricity Commission (LEC) it narrowed its focus for mini grid development in Gbarpolu County.

In 2021, it applied to the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) and was selected to develop and operate a portfolio of mini grids in 10 communities with approximately 4,000 customers in Gbarpolu County.

Initial communities to benefit from the solar electrification are Bopolu City, Totoquolle, Henry Town, Farwanta, Gbana, Zuo, Yagaryah, Takpoima, Smith Camp and Wesua.

“ENERGICITY has a strong commitment to partnering with the Government of Liberia to enhance energy access in the country and contribute to the development of the Liberia electricity sector”, Mr. Coker averred.

If licensed by the Commission, Mr. Coker pinpointed, ENERGICITY will commission its first site by the second and or third quarter of 2024 with the total initial installed capacity proposed of 970 kWp (Solar) and 4 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS).

He explained that ENERGICITY had already begun the construction and completion of several power houses and the erection of light poles in several of the communities.

Mr. Coker’s submission at the public hearing was followed by comments, questions, and answers. Residents in separate comments lauded the Commission for organizing the public hearing and noted that the electrification of Gbarpolu County has been long overdue.

In opening remarks, Dr. Lawrence D. Sekajipo, the Chairman of the BoC said the purpose of the hearings was to “ensure that all affected parties have a fair and meaningful opportunity for participation in the decision-making process of the Commission”.

He told participants at the hearing that was in accordance with the 2015 Electricity Law of Liberia related Regulations which mandates the Commission to conduct public hearings

Dr. Sekajipo informed ENERGICITY and the residents at the hearing that the Commission will review and analyse all the comments received and will be considered in its final decision on this matter.

This matter is currently scheduled for decision by the Commission within 20 working days and when a decision is made, ENERGICITY LIBERIA, will be informed within 10 working days, Dr. Sekajipo said.

The public hearing brought together the local government authorities, Atty. Ela-Edward Toomey, II, Commission LERC, Augustus V. Goanue Managing Director LERC, representatives from RREA and LEC, stakeholders, residents, ENERGICITY, businesses, civil society organizations, interest groups and residents.

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