16 August 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – In line with its policy to devolve the power production apparatus to large corporations and state governments, the Federal government has given details of requirements for the establishment of mini grids to be met by potential investors as he launched the mini grid regulations.
The new conditions were contained in a communiqué released at the end of the 18th power sector stakeholders meeting presided by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola and hosted by the Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) at the Kombotso Transmission Station, Kano.
Apart from the minister, the operators present include, Commissioners of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Managing Directors and CEOs of Generating Companies (Gencos), Distribution Companies (Discos), and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Gas Companies (Gascos) and other government agencies such as the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Limited, the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET), Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) and Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) responsible for the regulation and development of the electricity industry and Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC).
Fashola explained that the construction of mini-grids were intended to improve access to power, provide employment to the Nigerian people and to provide relief to the Distribution Companies, and allow a paradigm shift in Discos operations.
He said, “This is also consistent with our policy of Incremental power, and the provisions of the EPRSA which shows that within a Disco’s licence, a new licence can be granted by NERC: because no monopoly was intended by the law unless is expressly stated in the licence.
“Mini-grids are already a feature of many parts of the world where privatization has taken place and they democratize access to power for those who want to produce below 1MW of power.”
According to the minister, “the Regulations, released by NERC today show the process for qualification and application. I can only ask that we all embrace it and allow it to work.
“I see many possibilities. First access to power, economic boost, relief to Discos from unsatisfied customers, an opportunity for Discos to re-invent their businesses with a chance in the future to buy power from mini grids or even buy out the Grid owner.”
He explained that, “All miniGrids less than 100kW do not require a permit but require registration with Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
“All Mini-grids greater than 100kW but less than 1MW require NERC permit and all registration should be done on nerc.gov.ng.”
Further, the communiqué disclosed that the meeting deliberated and agreed on safety issues and commiserated with the families of victims of a recent electrical accident in Niger State.
The stakeholders provided a progress report on the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP), which is intended to reset and provide an avenue for the effective recovery of the power sector.
They stressed the continuation of the Payment Assurance Guarantee to Generating Companies (Gencos), which has provided comfort for Gencos and Gas Companies (Gascos).
In the same vein, they explained that Mini-grid and Eligible Customers Regulations are designed to mitigate Disco issues as allowed for in the Electricity Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act.
The Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) noted that the Oke-Aro to Mowe line is fully energized and is currently working with Ibadan Disco, leading to successful connection of Magboro, Oke-Afa and MFM communities.
The NDPHC further said it is currently working on connecting more communities and announced that Omotosho connection to local communities should be complete by end of September 2017 while Okija line is expected to be completed in November 2017.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) announced the completion of Birnin Kebbi, Kano (Kombotso) transmission substations as well as a substation at Tamburawa Water Facility and Kwanar Dangora substation.
The NERC announced that the best performing DisCo of Q1 2017 was Ikeja DisCo and the best performing GenCo for Q1 2017 was Omotosho I.