Electricity Grid Collapses 27 Times in Three Years

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The nation’s power grid collapsed 27 times in the last three years, the latest data from the Nigerian Electricity System Operator have shown.

The number of times the national grid suffered a collapse fell to four in 2020 from 10 in 2019 and 13 in 2018, according to the data.

The grid recorded 25 total collapses in the period under review while two were partial.

A total system collapse means total blackout nationwide, while partial system collapse is a failure of a section of the grid, according to NESO.

The grid has continued to suffer system collapse over the years amid lack of spinning reserve that is meant to forestall such occurrences.

Spinning reserve is the generation capacity that is online but unloaded and that can respond within 10 minutes to compensate for generation or transmission outages.

Although five power stations are meant to provide spinning reserves, sometimes none may have actual reserve.

The power stations are Egbin, Delta, Olorunsogo NIPP, Geregu NIPP and Omotosho NIPP.

Total power generation in the country stood at 4,547.70 megawatts as of 6am on Thursday, according to NESO data.

The system operator put the nation’s installed generation capacity at 12,954.40MW; available capacity at 7,652.60MW; transmission wheeling capacity at 7,300MW; and the peak generation ever attained at 5520.4MW.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, in its latest quarterly report, noted the improvement in grid stability in the first quarter of 2020.

NERC said to further improve the grid stability and prevent system collapse in subsequent quarters and beyond, it would, in collaboration with the Transmission Company of Nigeria, intensify efforts to ensure further improvement in the grid performance.

It said it would also intensify the monitoring of strict compliance to the system operator’s directives to generators on free governor and frequency control mode in line with the provisions of the subsisting operating codes in the electricity industry.

“Furthermore, the commission has reviewed the outcome of the competitive procurement of spinning reserves conducted by TCN. This is to guarantee adequate spinning reserves for proper management of the grid by the SO,” the report said.

The commission noted that frequency fluctuation and other harmonic distortion would result in poor power quality that could damage sensitive industrial machinery and equipment connected at high voltage levels.

“To minimise the frequency and voltage fluctuations, the commission shall continue to work with TCN and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that system voltage and frequencies operate within the prescribed regulatory limits in order to ensure safe and reliable electricity supply,” it said.

The Punch


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