The national electricity grid witnessed another collapse on Tuesday that resulted in the drop in power generation from over 3,000 megawatts to just 108.7MW.
This is coming as the Federal Government signed Put and Call Option Agreements with two power firms, Afrinergia and CT Cosmos, for the construction of 50MW and 70MW solar power plants, respectively.
Industry data obtained by our correspondent showed that power generation plunged from 3,069.5MW on April 8, 2017 to 108.7MW on April 9, and moved up marginally to 240MW the next day.
It was learnt that heavy rainfall at three transmission stations led to load reduction that prompted high frequency in the system, a development that triggered the collapse of the electricity grid, the first to be recorded in the second quarter of this year.
We had exclusively reported that the country’s electricity grid collapsed 10 times in the first quarter of this year.
Tuesday’s report on the April 9 system collapse stated that the rainfall affected the Onitsha, Benin and Alaoji transmission stations, leading to a cumulative load reduction of 384MW in the affected areas.
It stated, “There was heavy rainfall reported from Onitsha T/S, Benin T/S and Alaoji T/S, which led to area load reduction from 70MW to 15MW, 100MW to 20MW and 300MW to 51MW, respectively.
“This led to a rise in system frequency and voltage, which subsequently resulted in the transmission line tripping as indicated in reports from the stations. At 06:21hours, the system frequency sharply dropped from 51.03Hertz to 47.48Hz followed by the system collapse.”
The development, according to officials of the Power ministry, worsened electricity supply in many areas during the period as the average power sent out on April 9 fell by 698MW-hour/hour to 2,638MWh/h.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that the two firms that signed the PCOAs with the Federal Government on Tuesday were among 14 companies that had earlier signed Power Purchase Agreements with the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc to generate up to 1,125MW of solar power.
The signing of the PCOAs by the two firms was the next stage after the PPAs were signed at a ceremony presided over by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, in Abuja on Tuesday.
The latest agreements serve as indemnity for the project promoters to go ahead with their construction and ultimately bring their power to the grid.
According to the agreement, Afrinergia is to construct a 50MW solar farm in Nasarawa State, while CT Cosmos’ 70MW solar power project will be sited in Plateau State.
Fashola said the PCOA signing was in furtherance of the plan to generate at least 30 per cent of Nigeria’s electricity from renewable energy sources.
The Managing Director of Afrinergia, Mr. Bestman Uwadia, stated that the signing of the agreement would give his company the confidence to conclude the solar plant located in Onyi, Kokona Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
He said the company could transmit the first ever solar power into Nigeria’s national grid in the next six months.