Nigeria should add into her national grid, up to 819 megawatts (mw) of clean electricity from a number of hydro and wind power projects under construction in four northern states – Kaduna; Niger; Katsina; and Nasarawa, the country’s power minister, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said.
Fashola, said at the recent fourth presidential quarterly business forum in Abuja, that the projects are 10mw Katsina wind farm; 40mw Kashimbilla hydro power; 700mw Zungeru hydro power; 29mw Dadin Kowa hydro power; and 40mw Gurara hydro power plants, adding that they were all at various stages of completion.
Though Fashola could not precisely state when the clean energy projects would come on stream, he however noted that, “some of them will be completed this year; some will run into the first quarter of 2018; and some in 2019.”
He also explained that the government would put its energy to providing embedded power generation through renewable energy sources because it was pricey to expand the national grid to parts of the country that do have connection to it yet.
“I have been speaking about Ihiala and Nnewi for a while and all you have heard is 133KV and 132KV, those are transmission lines that require us to transport energy to very long distances. If they are not commercially rewarding and viable under a private sector regime, the investment is not one that you will find easy to fund.”
“And in lieu of doing that now, we are focussing on embedded power using renewables coming to areas that have not been connected instead of waiting to connect them over lines of 400 kilometres; we can go in there, do the catchment, deliver the power to them, then meter them and let them go,” he stated.
According to him, government would through a confidence building measure, want more private investors to participate in the country’s renewable energy market as it grows, adding, “and confidence breeds further investment and when the investment stock is larger, I think we will be able to manage some of the risks and the liquidity issues better.”