Embedded Power: The Future of Nigeria’s Electricity Sector.


(Source: Nigerian Tribune)

The Chairman of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Sam Amadi, recently issued license for embedded power generation to the Bauchi State government.

Embedded power generation is simply a situation where a generator is directly connected to the distribution network. It consists of smaller or modular generators that use a variety of generation technologies such as solar, wind, biomass, diesel, fuel oils, crude oil and small hydro. It is also a useful means of dedicating power to state and local government, eligible customers and others.

It would provide reliability for supply of energy critical for viable industrial activities and peak shaving, high power quality or voltage control, that is, provision of high quality power necessary for sensitive industrial equipment. It would also minimise line losses and voltage sag, closeness to load results in more efficient power transmission.

Other qualities of embedded generation include substitute for main supply, source of power in area without grid supply, that is, rural areas; backup standby generation ensures regular supply and provision of ancillary services such as voltage or frequency control.

The recent incessant vandalism of key power infrastructures across the country, has started begging for the need for state governments, local governments and communities to provide these embedded power.

This embedded power, which will be located in the remote communities, will be well taken care of and guarded by members of the community, since they see it as their own project, which is created from their own pockets.

The example of the community policing and community vigilantes can then come out to guard the installations.

The embedded generation will help the electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) to get supply of electricity faster and also cut down their dependence on the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET), which ensures that power evacuated from the Electricity Generation Companies (GENCOs) are readily paid for by the DISCOs.

The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission recently added its call on state governments to invest in embedded power generation as it was the future of the Nigeria electricity industry.

The Chairman of NERC, Amadi stated this last Wednesday in Abuja, while issuing the license of embedded generation to the Bauchi State government. The Governor of the state, Mallam Isa Yuguda.

The issuance of the license follows the application submitted to the NERC by the Yankari Power Company early this year.

He said: “We present this project as a  model to other state governors; we have certified all the environmental issues on the project, we feel happy about it, it is the vision of the industry to generate sufficient power for all.

Amadi lauded the achievement of the Bauchi State government through the company.

The license was officially signed by the Managing Director of the Power Company, Dr Muhammed Ajiya, and handed over to the governor, Mallam Yuguda.

Governor Yuguda then urged state governments to adopt embedded power generation and invest in power infrastructure for the development of their  people.

He said: “This strategy that the NERC adopted is the best thing that has happened to Nigeria, and we would support the Federal Government in generating enough power in the shortest time.”

Yuguda lauded the regulatory work of the Commission, and stated that he was happy to preside over the first state adopting embedded power.

The NERC chairman at a separate event, further said that new investors could buy off-grid power as long as they followed the process, adding that they were not bound to the one from the national grid.

He said: “Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) are always free to contract power from embedded generators if they so choose, as long as they follow the process and regulations.”

“They can buy new powers, but they have to follow the rules. They have to follow the licence terms. They have to procure it based on competitive process. They have to buy it at the price we have set. It doesn’t matter where they buy, they can buy from anybody. The person just has to get a licence to supply to them.”

Some of the companies that have invested in captive power plants include Lafarge WAPCO (90MW); Dangote Cement (258MW) at Obajana and Ibeshe; Western Metal Product Company Limited (WEMPCO) 52MW; Nigerian Breweries plc (16.8MW); Guinness Nigeria’s Ogba brewery (9.3MW); and Nestle Nigeria plc (3MW).Others are United Cement Company (47mw); BUA Sugar Refinery (20MW); BUA Cement (45MW); Notore Fertiliser (50MW); Flour Mills (60MW); Unilever (6MW); Academy Press (1.2MW); Cadbury (7.3MW); IMIL (14MW); Dangote Sugar (15MW); Golden Sugar (12MW); Island Power (114MW); Oando Akute (12.1MW); NLNG (400MW); and Indorama Eleme Petrochemical/Indorama Fertiliser plant, about (225MW).

Nigeria is looking towards producing 40,000 mega watts by 2020, with all the DISCOs in solace, plants from the National Independent Power Projects, Green Projects (building new power plant) wind, solar, renewable and the embedded power, the country can reach its target of the 2020 vision.

State governments across the country can learn from what the Bauchi State government is doing, so as to provide development, jobs and eradication of poverty in their areas.

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