Mini grids best for power sector – Ex-minister, others
Stakeholders in the power sector, including a former Minister of Power and Chief Executive Officer of Geometric Power, Prof. Bart Nnaji, have suggested that mini grids should be created in the country rather than depending solely on the national grid.
They said the creation of mini grids would help to curb the occurrence of total system collapse and contribute towards sustainable electricity.
This year, the nation’s power grid has recorded 21 collapses – 16 total and five partial collapses.
A mini grid can be defined as a set of electricity generators and possibly energy storage systems interconnected to a distribution network that supplies electricity to a localised group of customers, according to energypedia.
Nnaji, who noted that the transmission network in Nigeria is grossly inadequate, said, “If you are using a national grid, stability of the grid is important. I actually don’t advocate a national grid if you are talking about sustainability.
“The national grid could be a super grid but it should have mini grids. Like Eko Electricity Distribution Company should have its own grid that can be sustainable; Ikeja Disco has its own grid. When you have it like that, it is easier not to have a total countrywide system collapse,” he said.
The ex-minister said it was also possible to have embedded generation to feed the mini grids.
He said, “You build power plants within particular grids and the power plants support those mini grids and not reliant on the wider grid. That is sustainability. In Aba, that is what Geometric Power has done.”
The Chief Executive Officer, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Oladele Amoda, suggested that regional grids could be created in the country, saying, “In fact, that is the way to go, but not immediately because of the location of the power stations right now.”
He, however, said it required some consultation so that no area would be disadvantaged.
Amoda said, “For instance, Egbin, Olorunsogo and Omotosho power stations can take care of the South-West. But then when we have gas issues, it becomes a problem. I am not sure we can do that immediately, but it can be planned.”
An energy research analyst at Ecobank Capital, Mr. Kareem Jubril, described as very welcome the idea of having mini grids or sectionalising the national grid.
“Having mini grids is an ideal solution; it gives more flexibility. We don’t have to have all the power stations supplying the national grid,” he said.