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Why grid collapse persists — TCN

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has disclosed that the inability to maintain a balanced frequency between demand and supply of electricity consumption is the…

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has disclosed that the inability to maintain a balanced frequency between demand and supply of electricity consumption is the major reason for continuous collapse of the nation’s power grid.

 While stating that the situation was compounded with lack of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system and spinning reserve to control the transmission of electricity supply, it identified lack of adequate gas, load rejection by DisCos and ageing infrastructure as other reasons.

 Speaking during a visit by the Senate Committee on Power to the headquarters of TCN Monday in Abuja, its Executive Director on Independent System Operator, Engr Nafisatu Asabe Ali, said the grid was interconnected with the generation, distribution and transmission, thus that any disturbance in one part would inadvertently affect the entire grid.

 Nafisatu explained that managing frequency of electricity output in the value chain of the electricity sector would not be effective without a generation and demand balance.

 She said, “We have one grid and several participants on that grid. Anybody who misbehaves can bring down the grid. For instance, if any load is introduced on the system without prior knowledge of players, it will bring down the whole system, and since we don’t have a SCADA system, it is difficult for us to know who started it or monitor the flow of the power.”

 She noted that despite the challenges on the grid, it was able to go 421 days without disturbances due to the introduction of the Frequency Load Shedding Scheme.

 She further said, “In 2017, it was bad, and we had 15 total collapses and nine partial collapses. Along the line it began to cascade down except in 2022 where it raised, but in between there was a period we did not record grid collapse for more than one year, for 421 days. What did we do? We introduced an under-frequency load shedding scheme to help us limit this imbalance because that is what the system operator does for 24 hours, and it does not go to sleep, otherwise there will be a problem.”

 Speaking earlier, the Managing Director of TCN, AbdulAzeez Sule, appealed to the committee to increase its budgetary allocation as it had over 100 projects that had been abandoned which would have improved the country’s power situation.

 He emphasised on the need for the country to acquire the SCADA system to effectively monitor the national grid.

He disclosed that the World Bank had promised to finance the system but that it would take two years before it was completed.

 On his part, the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, promised that the country would soon see an improvement with the power situation in the country.

 He said the federal government was already making payments to the gas companies on monies owed to them, which he noted was the bane of low electricity generation.


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