The Federal government has announced plans to add up to 819 megawatts (MW) of clean electricity from a number of hydro and wind power projects to the national grid.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who stated this at the Fourth Presidential Quarterly Business Forum in Abuja, said the hydro and wind power projects are under construction in four northern states – Kaduna, Niger, Katsina, and Nasarawa.
According to him, the projects include a 10MW Katsina wind farm; 40mw Kashimbilla hydro power project; 700mw Zungeru hydro power project; 29mw Dadin Kowa hydro power; and 40mw Gurara hydro power plants, adding that they were all at various stages of completion.
Although the minister 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.”
Fashola further 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,” he said.
He added that, “In lieu of doing that now, we are focusing on embedded power using renewables coming to areas that have not been connected instead of waiting to connect them over lines of 400 kilometers; we can go in there, do the catchment, deliver the power to them, then meter them and let them go.”
According to Fashola, the Federal government would, through a confidence building measure, want more private investors to participate in the country’s renewable energy market as it grows.
“As we know, 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,” he stated.