By Folake Ogunleye
The generation output of thermal and hydro power plants in the country increased to a new peak level of 5,155 megawatts (mw) on Friday December 7, 2017. The highest peak recorded in the country surpassed the earlier record of 5074mw recorded February 2, 2016 according to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
The Network Operational Capability stands at 5,500mw.
This peak is a major milestone in the drive by the Federal Government towards the attainment of 7,000mw capacity in 2018 as promised by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo recently.
The Managing Director TCN U.G Mohammed commended all the stakeholders in the power sector value chain for the huge success recorded.
The nation’s power generation recently experienced further drop in its generation to about 3,531.7mw which translated to a drop in supply sent out to the 11 Distribution Companies (DISCOs) across the country.
Statistics obtained from the Nigeria System Operator (NSO), a section of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), indicated that about 78242.67mw hour (mwh) was sent out on Saturday for supply across the DISCOs.
However, on Sunday the peak generation capacity dropped to 4,669.3mw compared with national demand forecast of 19.100mw. The peak generation recorded on Sunday also is below the installed power generation capacity of 11,165.40mw and current transmission capacity of 7,000mw. This drop also represents a shortfall of 9.5 per cent from the highest peak level attained on Friday.
System Operation (SO) being a semi-autonomous sector under the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) is responsible for operating the transmission system in a safe and reliable manner. The TCN network spreads to all parts of the country and across the borders to several neighbouring countries, and Nigeria is a net exporter of power.
The transmission system in Nigeria comprises 330 kV and 132 kv circuits and substations. The thermal generation is located in the south of the country, generally near to the sources of gas, while the hydro generation is located further north at Jebba, Kainji and Shiroro. Distribution is split into 11 zones and the distribution networks comprise 33 kV, 11 kv and low voltage circuits. System nominal frequency is 50 Hz.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, promised Nigerians that the Federal Government had set the machinery in motion to ensure 7,000 megawatts at the first quarter of 2017 . Osinbajo who acknowledged that the country was battling with 3,000 megawatts, assured that the 7,000mw was achievable.
The Vice President said the Federal Government was currently working on nine transmission stations across the country towards achieving that set target of 7,000 megawatts electricity generation for the country. He however, attributed the crisis in the power sector to the vandalism of the Folcado terminal and four other export terminals is responsible for the reduction in the megawatts to as low as almost 2500mw of power.
The VP added that the work on the critical transmissions areas would be completed by the first quarter of the year 2017.