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  • Beryl leaves millions without power // Nigeria's grid collapses // America's first solar-covered canal

Beryl leaves millions without power // Nigeria's grid collapses // America's first solar-covered canal

Welcome to Grid Brief! Here’s what we’re looking at today: Beryl’s impact in Texas, Nigeria’s grid problems, and solar-covered canals in the U.S.

Beryl Leaves Millions Without Power

Credit: Eric Gay/AP via the Wall Street Journal

On Monday Hurricane Beryl made landfall in Texas, knocking the power out for 2.7 million homes and businesses. The Houston area was especially impacted by the storm with flashfloods hitting the city and wind gusts reaching 92 mph in Freeport. Texas’ utilities prepared for the storm by putting thousands of line workers on standby.

Beryl, which hit the Caribbean as a Category 5 storm, reached the continental U.S. as a Category 1 hurricane before being downgraded to a tropical storm. Beryl is expected to move through Arkansas today.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted an extremely active hurricane season (June 1-November 30) with eight to 13 hurricanes, four to seven of which are expected to be Category 3 and above.

Nigeria’s Grid Collapses…Again

For the fourth time this year Nigeria experienced a nationwide power outage. On Saturday, power generation fell from 4,000 megawatts in the morning to 57 in the evening. The government was able to bring power back on the following day.

About 100 million Nigerians (half of the population) are connected to the nation’s grid. While solar’s role could significantly grow in the sunny country, Nigeria faces financing problems and high interest rates for utility-scale projects which stifles deployment.

Problems with the grid also stem from inaccurate pricing structures where the cost of electricity for consumers is far less than generation costs for utilities. As a result, utilities rely heavily on government intervention to stay afloat which discourages private investors from coming in.

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