The nation’s power grid has suffered a total collapse for the first time in three months, latest data from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing have shown.
The grid collapsed on December 21, increasing the number of collapses recorded so far this year to 12 – one was partial while the rest were total.
The total collapses occurred in January (five), February (one), June (one), July (one), September (two) and December (one), while one partial collapse was recorded in April.
According to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, a total system collapse means total blackout nationwide, while partial system collapse is a failure of a section of the grid.
Total power generation stood at 4,214.30 megawatts as of 6 pm on Monday, December 24, down from 4,402.20MW on Sunday.
Six power plants, namely Sapele I, Alaoji NIPP, Olorunsog NIPP, Odukpani NIPP, AES and ASCO, did not generate any megawatts on Monday.
Total generation capacity of 626.4MW was unutilised on Monday, as a result of low demand by electricity distribution companies.
The Nigeria Electricity System Operator, an arm of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, put the nation’s installed generation capacity at 11,165.40MW; available capacity at 7,139.60MW; current transmission capacity at 7,000MW; network operational capacity at 5,500MW, and the peak generation ever attained at 5,222.3MW.
The nation generates most of its electricity from gas-fired power plants, while the output from hydropower plants makes up about 30 per cent of the total.
NERC, in its latest quarterly report, said the power sector recorded a significant improvement in the stability of the grid network during the second quarter of this year.
According to the report, the improvement in the grid stability achieved in the quarter was attributed to the commission’s and TCN’s commitment to ensuring stable electricity supply.
It said, “This is done through tighter enforcement and adherence to the provisions of the grid code which mandates free governor control at grid-connected power plants.
“To sustain the improvement in grid stability recorded in this quarter, the commission will intensify its monitoring and supervision efforts in order to ensure strict compliance to the commission’s directives that generators should be on free governor and frequency control mode in line with the provisions of the subsisting rules in the industry.”
The grid has continued to suffer system collapse over the years amid a lack of spinning reserve that is meant to forestall such occurrences.
Spinning reserve is the generation capacity that is online but unloaded and that can respond within 10 minutes to compensate for generation or transmission outages.
Out of the five power stations meant to provide spinning reserves, none had any actual reserve as of 6 am on Monday, with the contracted reserve put at 295MW.
The power stations are Egbin, Delta, Olorunsogo NIPP, Geregu NIPP and Omotosho NIPP.