The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said that power distribution firms will soon begin the development of mini-grids to augment electricity supply to households, businesses and institutions in the country, The Punch reports.
NERC said in a Draft Mini-Grid Regulation 2016 that electricity distribution companies could now use mini-grids as a bridge technology to accelerate their electrification activities. It said the mini-grid regulation was specifically designed to accelerate electrification in areas without any existing distribution grid and areas with an existing but poorly electrified or non-functional distribution grid, especially but not limited to rural areas.
To encourage mini-grid development, the commission said cost-reflective retail tariffs would be utilised, adding that tariffs would be higher than the current electricity distribution company’s retail tariffs. The commission, however, said the tariffs would be lower than any electricity supply of the same quality generated from conventional sources in such areas.