Key questions this article answers:
Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) granted Ibom Power a licence to build and operate electricity distribution infrastructure in Akwa Ibom state. What does this mean?
Ibom Power’s new licence is a threat to distribution companies. But is it a win for Nigerians in Akwa Ibom?
Another day, another alternative power source for Nigerian consumers.
Last week, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) granted Ibom Power, an electricity generation company owned by the Akwa Ibom state government, a licence called the Independent Electricity Distribution Network (IEDN) licence.
This licence grants Ibom Power rights to build and operate its own distribution infrastructure, not directly connected to the national grid, to serve parts of Akwa Ibom state.
This isn’t the first time the IEDN licence has been granted. For instance, the Ikeja-based Energy Company of Nigeria has an IEDN licence.
But Ibom Power currently supplies electricity to the grid from its 100 MW+ power plant. A rough rule of thumb is that 1 megawatt (MW) can serve a thousand households depending on consumption. Quick math tells us Ibom Power can generate power for roughly 100,000 households, but it’s still unclear how many customers Ibom Power will serve.
We’ll get into the nitty-gritty of this licence and what it means but this is just one of a long list of power sector moves echoing that the future of the Nigerian electricity sector is off-grid. Stears has covered stories of failed and successful attempts at off-grid electricity supply. From mini-grids in Lagos communities to gas generation in the Ariaria market and even renewable energy companies, our poor electricity situation (one of our biggest problems) creates opportunities for companies willing to fix it.
So, today, we’ll dig into how the IEDN licence works, what it means for residents of Akwa Ibom and how this affects the power sector.
Before we dig into the licence, let’s talk