The federal government has called on the solar power promoters in the country to find lasting solutions to issues hindering the operations of 16 solar power projects across the country, estimated to add 1,300mw to the nation’s generation capacity.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, stated this during a meeting with representatives of Ministry of Federal Capital Territory, State Governments, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET), Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and prospective solar power promoters and investors recently in Abuja.
He said the 16 projects with a total of 1,300mw capacity would be highly beneficial for the country’s energy mix, regretting however that the projects had been unable to progress because of lack of bankable Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)
He said government was mindful of the burden of the premium price of solar power in the pricing regime approved by NBET, which the promoters considered difficult in light of contracting for solar power at the prevailing premium tariff, assuring that there would be subsidy to cushion the adverse effect on their investment.
On their part, the promoters solar power in tje country expressed concern and frustration that bankable
PPAs had not been signed after so many years of negotiations with NBET.
They said the meeting should agree on the way forward.
The solar promoters therefore, agreed to meet over the next few days to redefine and update the pricing regime as well as make specific suggestions on incentives such as duty waivers, VAT exemption and access to concessional credit facilities to help bring down the price of solar equipment.
They also agreed to take on an obligation to find off-takers of the premium power they would sell to NBET under the PPA.
Similarly, the meeting agreed that those promoters willing to proceed on this way should progress their PPAs with NBET, that the Ministry and NBET would provide assistance to those promoters to engage with DISCOs, State Governments and bulk off-takers of the premium solar power.