The Federal Government has disclosed that up to $273 million will be provided to guarantee the Power Purchase Agreements it recently signed for the 14 new solar power projects. The agreements were signed by the government-sanctioned power sector regulator, the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading plc (NBET).
Information concerning the agreement was provided by the head of press in the ministry of power, Timothy Oyedeji. Some of the states in which the projects concerned are to be located include Enugu, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Sokoto, Kogi, Jigawa and the FCT. The projects are expected to supply a total of 1,150 Megawatts to users across Nigeria.
Nigeria’s power generation and distribution capacity falls short of what the rapidly growing population demands. While its current demand for electricity is put at 15,730 Megawatts, only a fraction of this is made available to Nigerians by the power grid. The government says it hopes to ramp up power generation and distribution in order to cut the deficit, which is growing all the time. The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, recently said that the Federal Government expects that Nigeria’s power generating capacity will be “over 6,000MW by the end of 2016, 10,000MW in 2019, and 30,000MW in 2030”.
Diversifying the country’s power source might require a decentralization of the grid system; Mr. Fashola’s statement says that a proposed rural electrification strategy which has been presented to President Muhammadu Buhari should tackle this need. The minister also indicated that there are new wind and coal powered plants scheduled to come on stream, as part of the diversification plan. These plants, he said, will be located in Taraba, Katsina and Kaduna states.