Discos beg customers as blackout worsens on grid collapse

The national power grid has collapsed for the second time in less than a month, worsening the blackout being experienced by households and businesses in some parts of Nigeria.

The collapse, which occurred around 1pm on Monday, was confirmed by two of the electricity distribution companies in the country.

The grid had on July 28, 2021 suffered a total collapse, which the Transmission Company of Nigeria attributed to the loss of 611 megawatts at two power stations.

Eko Electricity Distribution Company, in a message to its customers on its Facebook page, said, “We regret to inform you of a system collapse on the national grid that’s causing outages across our network.

“We are working with our TCN partners to restore supply as soon as possible. Please bear with us.

Kaduna Electric, said, “We sincerely apologise for the power outage in our franchise states which is due to a system collapse from the national grid. Supply shall be restored as soon as the grid is back up.

“We regret any inconvenience this may cause all our customers.”

Prior to the system collapse, total electricity generation in the country stood at 3,555.6MW as of 6am on Monday, down from 3,789.2MW on Sunday, according to the Nigerian Electricity System Operator.

The grid, which is being managed by government-owned Transmission Company of Nigeria, 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.

Our correspondent gathered that the five power stations meant to provide spinning reserves had not been doing this for years.

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.

NERC had in its report for the third quarter of 2017 highlighted the need for adequate proactive measure (adequate spinning reserves) to prevent the system from being destabilised.

It said at the time that it was determined to provide all regulatory intervention necessary to ensure that the Transmission Company of Nigeria procured sufficient spinning reserves.


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