Renewable Power: NEMSA moves against mediocre solar projects, others

18 August 2015, Lagos – The technical inspector of Nigeria’s public electricity supply, the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) said it has commenced gradual phase-out of substandard materials for renewable energy projects in Nigeria.

Linde solar power plant-South Africa.

Linde solar power plant-South Africa.

NEMSA, which was set up to ensure compliance of operators with established standards and codes in public electricity service delivery, stated at a recent meeting in Abuja that instances of project contractors deploying substandard materials in solar, wind and other renewable energy projects will henceforth attract sanctions.

Managing Director of NEMSA, Peter Ewesor told reporters this shortly before his agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Winrock International to upgrade the capacity of its inspectors.

Ewesor explained that the agency will gradually but methodically phase out substandard use of renewable energy materials by tightening measures on their procurement and deployment to project sites in the country.

“Renewable energy is a new area in the power sector of Nigeria as well as the installation of renewable energy facilities.

“These inspectors have ideas about them but we need to open up and increase their capacities in this new area so that they can do their work better,” Ewesor said.

He further said: “USAID through Winrock has identified with NEMSA as the sole technical electrical inspector in the country and to help it improve in its training and equipment for rendering these services.

“We now want to ensure that they (inspectors) migrate their abilities to the renewable energy sector and even though they have ideas, we want to concretise them in their minds.”

Speaking on the impact of the MoU and measures to standardise materials for use in the renewable energy sector, Ewesor said: “What this is going to do is that it will improve the platform of people providing services in the renewable energy sector.”

“You will discover that most of the renewable energy facilities in the country are more or less like decorations and the problem is that most of materials are not up to standard requirements.

“Some don’t even work at all, but what we are trying to do now is that on a gradual basis, we will ensure reduction in fake and substandard materials that are being used because we will now be participating in assessing them at their planning and design phases as well as the time they will be procured before deployment,” he explained.

He equally noted that NEMSA will not limit its supervision to just the procurement and deployment, but also follow up their installations to ensure that they conform to the design specifications.

“Even when we would have assessed these equipment before they come into the country and even after they have been used, it does not still translate to having an efficient system and with that we will equally follow up to ensure that these approved specifications match with the installation specifications that was designed.

“If the installations are wrong, they will not work and on a gradual basis we will ensure reduction in substandard materials and appropriate installation to make sure that their benefits are achieved,” he said.

He added that the agency will through its statutes also ask project contractors to replace substandard components of existing renewable energy sources at public sites in the country.


– This Day

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