Nigeria now generates and transmits two megawatts (MW) of electricity into her national grid from the 10MW Katsina wind power farm in Lambar Rimi Katsina, the country’s power minister, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Monday claimed.
Speaking on a television show – the Morning Show, of Arise News Network in the country’s capital city Abuja, Fashola, stated that the Katsina wind farm which has remained practically unfinished for years was now generating power for the country.
He however stated that 22 of the farm’s turbines were yet to be fixed and turned on. In March, local newspapers reported that project contractors at the farm which was started in 2010, stated that nine turbines of the 37 in the farm would be commissioned then.
“We are exploring every source of energy that Nigeria is able to efficiently deliver. The source of energy that a nation chooses is ultimately a factor of how much citizens chose to pay for energy. So, Nigeria is not a wind prolific country, we don’t have the wind speed at efficient rate, not that we don’t have wind, I will like to be very clear.
“But for us to use wind, we need to build at a higher altitude the infrastructure, that cost will then be passed on to the consumers. We are experimenting with the wind project in Katsina. It is a 10MW project we inherited that had actually stopped working when we came in but we are now generating two megawatts out of it. There are about 22 turbines left to finish. But we are very prolific with solar, that is why we are giving so much support to solar,” said Fashola in his Arise Network interview.
OGN could not confirm the contribution of the wind farm to the country’s power mix from the Nigerian Electricity Systems Operator, a semi-autonomous department of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) which operates the country’s electricity transmission system and the connected installed generation in a safe and reliable manner.
The SO equally ensures the overall security and reliability of the grid system, economic dispatch of available generation resources as well as maintain system stability. It usually posts on a daily basis available power on the grid as well as their origins.
Similarly, the website of the Advisory Power Team in the office of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, which usually posts daily statistics on how Nigeria’s power sector fared, did not have any record of the power to the grid from the Katsina wind farm.
Accordingly, the wind farm project was initiated by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua when he was governor of Katsina, but it was subsequently transferred to the federal government when Yar’Adua became president in 2007.
It was estimated to cost about N4.4 billion, and was awarded to a French firm, Messrs Vergnet SA, in 2010, to be completed in 2012. More funds have also been allocated to the project without it reaching a closure.