The National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has commenced nationwide stakeholders consultation on its mini grid electrification programme aimed at accelerating electrification distribution in the South East and South/South zones.
Mr Emeka Ezeh, the Head of Communication, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) in a press statement in Enugu on Monday said that the consultation would hold in Enugu on Sept. 28.
Ezeh said that the electricity regulator would collate inputs from stakeholders on how to accelerate electrification in areas without existing distribution network or unserved areas.
He said that the commission would also look into areas with an existing but poorly electrified or non-functional distribution grid (underserved areas) by attracting participation of private sector, communities and NGOs in achieving the nationwide electrification.
Ezeh said that the initiative was in line with NERC’s primary responsibility to develop regulations as conferred by Sections 96(1) and 70(8) of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005.
The communication head said that NERC would license mini-grid operators after due consultation.
“The regulation seeks to minimise major risks associated with mini-grid investments such as sudden tariff changes as tariffs would have been agreed in advance by the relevant parties,’’ he said.
Ezeh said that NERC equally provided for permit and tariff approval procedures which would ease the administrative burden on the mini-grid operator and ensure the process of obtaining the permit in a timely manner.
He said that stakeholders from the franchise area of EEDC, Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) and Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) would participate in the consultations.