Power generating companies (GENCOs) operating in Nigeria are now compelled to operate below their maximum installed-capacity, just as the total power generation in Nigeria has been hovering between 3,000 megawatts and 3,500 megawatts in the last few months.
According to the Nigeria Electricity System Operator, Nigeria’s total power generation stood at 3,741.30 MW of electricity as at 6 am on Sunday, October 28, 2018.
Why is Power Generation Dropping
Responding to the drop in power generation, the Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies, the umbrella body for the GENCOs in Nigeria, Dr Joy Ogaji, traced the cause of the problem to the distribution and transmission chains of the power channel.
“Specifically, generation companies are pinned down by some operational impediments. The frequency of instructions to either increase load or decrease load (ramp up and ramp down) and, in some cases, shut down, has induced damaging stresses to the components of the machines.
“These instructions, reflective of the grid behaviour, are subjecting key electrical components of the power plants to operational stresses. Our available generation has always been steady between 7,500MW and 8,000MW; you can check the records at the National Control Centre, Osogbo.”
The Executive Secretary also stated that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), via its subsidiary, the System Operator/NCC, now use generation plants as regulating power reserve to stabilise the national grid.
“Some of the machines, for instance, with 145MW capacity, are subjected by the NCC to operate at 70MW, if not less on daily average, which constitutes 50 per cent base load value,”
She further accused the TCN of refusing to put some prescribed solutions in place, such as procurement of regulating and spinning reserve as well as tools to be developed. She also added that TCN’s inability to do these have forced the GENCOs to be operating outside their factory installed capacities.
DISCOs Estimated Billings To Reduce
It will be recalled that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) two weeks ago announced that, it has concluded plans to put limits on the idea of estimated billings, currently used by the 11 Power Distribution Companies (DISCOs), as a result of numerous complains of bogus bills from electricity consumers nationwide, after five years of power sector privatisation.