FG Launches Mini-grids System Control Centre in Abuja

•Set to conduct ground-breaking for 900kWp

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The federal government through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) yesterday inaugurated an Energy Management System (EMS) control centre capable of hosting all mini-grids in the country.

Carrying out the official launch of the project at its corporate headquarters in Abuja, the REA disclosed that it will also today (Thursday) conduct the ground-breaking of a 900kWp solar mini-grid in Rubochi, Kuje council, as well as a 100kWp at Ikwa Ward, Gwagwalada as part of the phase I of the Korean Energy Project (KEP).

Describing it as a significant milestone, the agency stated that it was a testament to its efforts aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation with foreign development partners such as the Korean Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) and its Korean implementing consortium partners.

It listed the partners as Iljin Electric, S&D Powernics, Korea Smart Grid Association and Technology University of Korea, which are all under the Korean energy project.

The project, it said, seeks to establish an integrated energy management system capable of hosting all mini-grids in the country and four standalone mini-grids with total capacities of 1.6 MWp and 3.0 MWh in  four “unelectrified” areas around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Speaking at the event, the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, stated that such collaborations will help bridge the gap between the served and the unserved in Nigeria and expressed the hope that the upcoming projects will be delivered on time and with the best standard.

Stressing that energy poverty remains a problem that permeates different nations across the continent, Adelabu noted that different stakeholders continue to address the effect of energy poverty in different ways.

“In Nigeria, we have a unique history that has taken us through varying phases of this journey toward the desirable change we strive to see in the energy sector,” he stated.

The minister who was represented by the Director of Renewable Energy and Rural Power Access, Mr Abubakar Ali-Dapshima, explained that the new Electricity Act designed to decentralise the power sector and expand investment opportunities through the state governments, gives the opportunity to further explore renewable energy solutions across the nation.  “The EMS we unveil today is not merely a technological innovation; it is a testament to our collective dedication to progress, efficiency, and the empowerment of our people,” he added.

According to him, the new facility will help highlight information relating to the expansion of the national grid to rural areas, the development of off-grid power sources and renewable energy power generation.

“I celebrate with the people of Rubochi, Ikwa, Gada Biyu and Kugbaru as the beneficiary communities of this impactful support. It is a great progress to have an additional 1.6MWp aand 3.0MWhr capacity energising 7, 300 residential and commercial homes Nigerians in these communities while transforming the socio-economic status of the people,” he said.

Also speaking, the Managing Director of REA, Salihijo Ahmad, stated that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project was signed last year and that the control system will act as the off-grid electricity “SCADA” system.

“This system represents a significant leap forward in our ability to capture and manage energy data across diverse electrification programmes within our nation and through the guidance of the federal ministry of power,” he said.

He added that the system will further strengthen REA’s collaboration with the Distribution Companies (Discos) on the development, integration, monitoring and management of interconnected mini-grids.

“This milestone achieved under the Korean energy project is a testament to our resolve towards collaboration with development partners in delivering our mandate,” he added.

The Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Kim Young-Chae, who was represented by the First Secretary (Economics), Choi Jung Won, in his remarks, said the government‘s support for the programme was because it understood the role of solar power generation on energy access and climate resilience.

“The Republic of South Korea has made a commitment through the Official Development Assistance (ODA) fund to support the Nigerian power sector, particularly on the development of solar mini-grids.

“This is because we understand the role of solar power generation on energy access and climate resilience.

 “Rural electrification requires unique granular data which is why the government of Korea is also undertaking the integrated energy management system to enable efficient planning and design concepts.

“The EMS can host all mini-grids data and hence will strengthen the position of REA on central coordination role. The Korean government is also seeking to strengthen and promote its cooperation with the Nigerian government for the prosperity of both nations,” he said.

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