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Power: Expert urges more investment to boost national grid

Abuja, Feb. 11,  2024 (NAN) An expert on power, Mr. Kunle Olubiyo, has urged the Federal Government and stakeholders to increase investment in the power sector to boost the national grid.

According to Olubiyo, this will also reduce the frequent collapses experienced by the grid.

Olubiyo, who is also the President of the Nigerian Consumer Protection Network, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.

He spoke against the backdrop of the frequent grid collapses being experienced in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) said on Feb. 4 that the grid experienced a partial disturbance at about 11:21 a. m.

The company said that prior to the incident, total generation on the grid was 3,901.25 megawatts (MW) at 8 a.m., a little over three hours before the time of partial collapse.

‘ It is important to note that low power generation has persisted since January to date, exacerbating daily due to the lingering gas constraint.”

According to the National Control Centre (NCC), the Internet of Things (IoT) revealed that just before the partial disturbance, which occurred at Sapele, Steam and Egbin Substations lost 29.32 MW and 343.84 MW at 11:20:14 hrs and 11:20:17 hrs, respectively, totaling 373.16 MW.

Olubiyo said the electricity grid value chain would do better with more investment in the acquisition of effective and functional Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA).

He said that there was a need to also invest in black start equipment, spinning reserves, mechanised vegetation control, and the management of invasive vegetation encroachment on the grid network.

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“Investment in system protective devices, as the name implies, will serve as safety valves and enhance health, safety, and the environment.

“There is also the need to remove illegal structures built up under the transmission network towers and all manners of illegal structures on the grid network right of way (ROW), ‘’he said.

Olubiyo said that the removal of illegal structures on the ROW would further enhance grid system stability and reliability and ensure safe delivery of electricity to Nigerians.

According to him, the issues of system collapses are multifaceted, and these include, but not limited to, the following:

“Obsolescence of critical grid equipment, national power grid infrastructure, vegetation enchroachment, and poor funding of management of vegetation enchroachment on the grid network.”

He said that it was also expedient to put an end to low gas pressure by making payments for gas upfront.

“Gas producers would not give you gas when you refused to settle your debt obligations resulting from non-payments arrears of the previous supply.

He said that power generated cannot be stored, so it is expected that the generated electricity available on the grid from generation, transmission dispatch, and distribution load evacuation must at all times be at equilibrium or be on par.

Olubiyo said that load centre managers are expected to be disciplined and pick loads within the thresholds of load allocated to them.

“If there is indiscipline and it becomes prevalent, it can cumulatively result in system misalignments and system distortion.

“This may result in system disturbances or eventually give rise to partial system collapses, ”he said (NAN)

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