Nigeria could have up to 50MW of the electricity on her national grid coming from solar in six months’ time.
This could be possible on the back of the government’s signing of two put and call option agreements (PCOAs) with two of the 14 large scale solar power firms that have indicated interests to build and generate up to 1125MW of solar power into Nigeria’s national grid.
The government had through the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the 14 solar independent power plants (IPPs) in July 2016.
It was also expected to sign the PCOAs with the firms a month after initialling the PPAs but was not able to do that as it held long periods of negotiations with the World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB) on the documentation of Partial Risk Guarantees (PRG) for the projects.
The closure on Tuesday of the two PCOAs now serve as indemnity for the project promoters to go ahead with their constructions and eventually bringing power to the grid. The two projects are Afrinergia which is building a 50MW solar farm in Nasarawa State and CT Cosmos which has a 70MW solar power project in Plateau State.
Afrinergia however said it could generate and transmit its first power into the grid in six months. It said the PCOA was the push it was waiting for to advance its works on the project.
“In a lay man’s term, the power sector has been privatised over the years and the government is not really acting in the production of power, but they have said they will guarantee the payment on behalf of Nigerians and what you have seen today is that they are guaranteeing that if we generate power, they will pay in case Nigerians don’t pay for power. So, the government is standing in the gap and saying, they will pay but go and produce power,” said Bestman Uwadia, Chairman of Afrinergia.
Uwadia further stated: “Our project was nominated to the AfDB PRG, we are with the AfDB. We have been on site in the last two years and parts of the reasons why we do not have power today is because the documentation processes were not concluded. The PPA was signed last year, the PCOA was supposed to be signed a month after the PPA was signed, and now it has taken over eight months because some of the delays are from documentations.”
“In terms of our calender in power generation, as a company, we are still within our projections and soon in the next six months hopefully, you will begin to see power in the grid,” he explained.
Afrinergia’s project is located in Onyi, kokona LGA of Nassarawa state, and would when completed, generate 114.56 Gwh per year of electricity to be connected to the national grid through the Keffi – Akwanga section of the 132KV Karu – Keffi – Akwanga transmission line.
Also, the country’s minister in charge of power, works and housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said at the ceremony which he supervised, that the government was still committed to its desire to diversify the country’s energy source.
He also said the government will create an enabling environment for investors to grow the sector, and that the signing of the two PCOAs signified its commitment to generate at least 30 per cent of Nigeria’s electricity from renewable energy sources.
Source: Off Grid Nigeria