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

ENERGICITY Liberia has presented a proposal to residents of Gbarpolu County and the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC) Board of Commissioners (BoC) 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). It was selected to develop and operate a portfolio of mini-grids in 10 communities with approximately 4,000 customers in Gbarpolu County.

The initial communities to benefit from 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 pointed out, ENERGICITY will commission its first site by the second or third quarter of 2024, with a proposed total initial installed capacity 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 powerhouses and the erection of light poles in several of the communities.

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

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

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 analyze all the comments received and be considered in its final decision.

Dr. Sekajipo said the Commission is currently scheduled to decide on this matter within 20 working days. When a decision is made, ENERGICITY LIBERIA will be informed within 10 working days.

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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