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Why we told GENCOs to reduce generation —TCN

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By Sebastine Obasi & Prince Okafor

LAGOS—The Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, said high system frequency, necessitating corrective measures, coupled with the refusal of Distribution Companies, DISCOs, to take more load, compelled it to inform GENCOs to reduce generation.

TCN’s explanation is coming on the heels of the allegation by Managing Director of Mainstream Energy Solutions, Operators of Jebba and Kainji Hydro Electricity Plants, Mr. Lamu Audu, thatGENCOs could no longer bear the constant energy production reduction orders of the TCN.

According to Audu, between February and Monday (March 13, 2017), Jebba and Kainji alone lost 8,574 MW unutilized electricity. He also said the total unutilized energy from all the GENCOs within the period under review was monumental and most painful at a time most Nigerian homes and businesses hardly had enough power to meet their consumption needs.

However, TCN, in a statement signed by the General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr Seun Olagunju, said in general, electricity was not stored but used as it was being generated.

Olagunju said: “Recently, high system frequency (more than 50HZ) has been observed, necessitating corrective measures. The options to bring down the frequency to 50Hz are:(a) Distribution Companies to absorb more load, (b) Generation Companies to reduce generation.

“The first option is the appropriate line of action. However, due to inexplicable reasons, some DISCOs failed to take more load as generation increases. This has left the system operator with no other option than to ask the GENCOs to reduce generation to ensure grid stability.

“The directive to GENCOs to reduce generation is imperative to maintain the integrity of the grid, as frequency higher than 50HZ could result in system disturbance. It is important to note that the directives are issued with a high sense of duty and responsibility to the nation and the entire electricity industry.

“The system operator’s decision is based on the fact that at normal operating frequency of 50Hz, the active power generated is equal to the active load consumed and losses. However, if the generated power is more than the load connected, the frequency rises higher than 50Hz, which can result in system disturbance.

“To correct this imbalance, the system operator, whose duty it is to maintain system stability, has no choice than to ask the generating stations to drop the load to sustain the network integrity. This is the practice all over the world. On the contrary, if the load connected is higher than the generated power, the frequency drops below 50Hz and can also lead to system collapse.”

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