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Distribution hitches restrict 2,329mw, half of generated power

Maximum electricity generated into the national grid last Saturday reached 4,722 megawatts (mw), but 2,329mw was not available to supply about 7 million electricity users, the Daily Trust reports.

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The lowest generation that day was 3,523mw while the total capacity for the 23 operational Generation Companies (GenCos) stood at 7,590mw. The GenCos comprise three hydropower plants and 20 gas-based plants. 

The demand forecast for electricity usage in Nigeria remains at 17,720mw, which is about 10,000mw more than the current generation capacity. 

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Using the prevailing peak generation of 4,722mw, the power sector still requires an operational 13,000mw generation to meet the electricity demand forecast, a daily operational report by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has shown.

Of the 4,722mw peak generation attained, the three hydros generated 1,077mw: Kainji produced 318mw, Jebba produced 468mw and Shiroro generated 291mw.

Two steam GenCos, Egbin and Sapele produced 425mw and 64mw respectively. The other 18 gas-fired GenCos including Transcorp-Ughelli, Okpai and Odukpani National Integrated Power Plant (NIPP) produced the balance of 3,156mw.

While the generated electricity on the national grid rose significantly, familiar constraints including the inability of the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) to take more power, restrained 2,613mw from reaching electricity users.

The Daily Trust analysis shows that the constraint of gas to power plants reduced to 290mw last Sunday. Only Geregu NIPP among the GenCos, which could produce 290mw lacked gas during the period.  There was no water constraint as the hydro plants are having excess water at present, it was observed.

The major challenge was still at the DisCos’ end as their load demand preferences caused a loss of 2,329mw at 13 GenCos. The highest loss occurred at Geregu I GenCo in Kogi state where 435mw was lost because the DisCos could not take it. 

The lowest loss was recorded at Jebba Hydropower GenCo in Niger state where a turbine that could produce 95mw was shut-down due to excess generation. 

Our reporter observed that Jebba Plant shutdown a turbine last Thursday when TCN sent a signal indicating excess electricity in the national grid that was not supplied to customers by the DisCos. 

“To prevent any system collapse and ensure the transmission system is stable at 50 Hertz (hz), we were told to ramp down on generation,” Jebba Operation Supervisor, Engr. John Onimisi had said.

 

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