Monday, April 2, 2018


With the latest development in Ondo State on electricity improvement.

Through the Office of Public Utilities, epileptic electricity supply is likely to be a thing of the past.  Several years ago, light outage has been the major problem affecting some areas in Ondo State, a part of the Northern Senatorial District and the entire Southern Senatorial District are off the national grid. Lots of civil, social, political groups, individuals, community leaders, traditional rulers have tried, but to no avail, in getting this solved on time
.Eighty percent (80% ) of the communities affected were on-grid but disconnected by their electricity provider- Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).

The service provider gives no payment as reason for the disconnection while the communities blame the acclaimed debt on non provision of Pre- paid meters.

Meanwhile, at the time of the disconnection, majority of the households claimed not to be owing. This claim has generated serious arguments between the communities and the service provider for many years. Since the assumption of office by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, concerted of efforts have been put deployed to get the affected regions out of blackout.

In this direction, Office of Public Utilities has been on the forefront of the problem-solving process through consumer-friendly solutions.

What is Mini Grid?
Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) defines mini-grid as an integrated local generation and distribution system with installed capacity below 1MW capable of serving numerous end-users independent of the national grid. Simply put, mini-grid is a set of electricity generators and possibly energy storage systems connected through a distribution network to supply electricity to a localized group of consumers.

It serves a limited number of consumers via an effective distribution lines in isolation of the national transmission network.

Types of Mini-Grid.
Solar powered
Gas fired
Challenges in Mini-grid operation

Currently there is no proven business model of mini-grid outfit in Nigeria. The model varies among mini-grid operators. However, research has shown that establishment and operation in any community is prone to some challenges among which are:

High tariff
Consumers attitude to bill payment
Metering technology
Anti-theft measures
Bill collection
Staff attitude to bill collection
Fear of timely reconnection to national grid
Challenges of mini-grid consumers have with the system

The consumers need reassurance that mini grid is:
It's power is reliable
not too expensive
Dual Electricity Supply Scheme
Since competition brings improvement in service delivery, there must be room for competition between the Distribution Companies (Discos) and Mini-grid operators. In this regard, Mini grid should be provided as alternative energy sources and not the only source available for the communities. At the planning stage of any mini grid within the state, there should always be consideration for main grid even when the main grid is not yet connected. Mini grid can function effectively with parallel line of distribution on the existing service poles. Good working relationship is the major factor to work around in this context. The competition in this regard has positive effect on service delivery. 

Noticeably today, different telecommunication companies now use single mast to their respective transmitter based on agreement by the parties involved.

Making mini-grid an alternative to existing distribution network, it makes available to consumers the opportunity of switching electricity service netwrok as it is obtainable in telecommunication service. This will give end-users access to request for two services if they want, such that they can always switch to the one they want at any point in time. Tthis will work perfectly once the two service providers can provide Pre-paid meters to their customers so that it can be easy to measure the rate of consumption of customers.

For instance, Im having a phone with two SIMs, I can decide to recharge on any of the lines. And, in a situation whereby I have airtime on the two lines I can decide to use any of the lines to call. All I need to do is to select the line I want to use to call at that moment. 

Same thing applicable to electricity, this will give room for competition among the service providers with resultant effective service delivery.

Thus, the state government is expected to meet with stakeholders in order to create a good business relationship and mutual understanding on how the Dual Electricity Supply Scheme could work in other to service our people better.

Ilesanmi ADE-ADEMOLA  

No comments:

Post a Comment






Email *

Message *