Information reaching Nairametrics suggests there has been a remarkable improvement in power supply across parts of Lagos State and in some parts of the country.
In our Isolo office where we had a little of 6 hours of light a day, we now experience over 12 hours and mostly during office hours. Most people we contacted also observed an improved power supply in their locations. So what is the reason for this?
Industry watchers inform Nairametrics that the improved Power supply could be for the following reasons.
Improved Power Generation from Hydro Generators – Keen observers will notice that power supply is typically great during the rainy seasons. This is because there is enough water reserves in the nation’s water dams which is used to power our Hydro Generating Plants. Nigeria’s Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba rely on water to generate electricity. It is thought that they all contributed about 1,900MW of electricity generation when on full capacity.
Steady Power Generation – We were also informed that even though power generation peaked at about 5,074mw in February (the highest ever), it was hardly felt by Nigerians because it was not steady. They opine that despite power generation averaging about 3,400MW currently, it has average just above 3,200 for some weeks now and has remained at that level throughout that period. This means that power to the transmission system is stable avoiding any form of system collapse.
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Improved distribution network – Another reason given by operators in the sector is an improvement in the distribution network and infrastructure of most discos. Discos have in the past few months, improved on the working conditions of the transformers, feeders etc. which means they are able to pick up loads without having to shed as much as they used to. This is up to debate as most customers still complain of load shedding within their neighborhoods. Load shedding is a system whereby, transformers or feeders are turned off or on to due to over capacity.
Most Industries are off grid – A lot of companies are said to have dumped the National Grid in the earlier part of 2016 when power supply from the grid went down drastically. A lot of heavy industries used that opportunity to invest in their own independent power projects (IPP) basically taking them off grid. In Lagos for example, most of its offices and locations are off grid and relying on the IPP provided by the State Government. Most industries have gone off grid and even offering to sell their excess capacity to Discos.
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Cool Weather – One other reason offered is the cool nature of the weather on the past few weeks. The weather this year has been mild with the rains falling nearly every week for the past 12 weeks. The result is that most Nigerians will not want to put on their Air Conditioning thus reducing the load available of the network. This has a positive effect on power supply has it means fewer trip offs due to overloaded power lines and feeders.
Increased Metering – Whilst many may not agree with this, we also learned that increased metering in some parts of Lagos may have contributed to an improved power supply. With electricity prices up 40%, most Nigerians with prepaid meters are wary of power costs and thus better utilize power whenever it is available. The higher the metering density, the lesser the load on the network according to sources within the sector.