We’ve capacity to distribute 6,288MW of electricity — Discos
Power distribution companies say they have capacity to take and distribute 6,288.96 megawatts of electricity, refuting the Federal Government’s claim that the Discos can only handle 5,000MW.
According to them, the capacity of Discos to distribute about 6,300MW was confirmed in a study conducted by the country’s power System Operator, an arm of the Transmission Company of Nigeria.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, at a recent power sector stakeholders’ meeting, stated that power generation in the country had increased to 7,000MW and that distributors could only take about 5,000MW, leaving 2,000MW stranded.
“We have reached a 7,000MW generation capacity and have a 5,000MW distribution capacity. We had met with Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Discos, and Gencos (generation companies) on how to implement the Eligible Customer Policy and increase connectivity to the 2,000MW that is available,” the minister stated.
But in a document obtained by our correspondent from the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors in Abuja on Wednesday, the power firms stated that their capacity to distribute power was way beyond the minister’s claim, but stressed that the capacity was subject to the stability of the country’s transmission grid.
“The capacity to wheel any level of energy to be distributed by the Discos is subject to the stability and availability of the transmission grid. Indeed, a Disco experienced, over a six-month period, 2,000 recorded instances of transmission interface interruptions,” the power firms stated in the document, which was signed by the ANED’s Executive Director, Sunday Oduntan.
They added, “These interruptions are replicated across all the Discos. The Discos have a capacity to off-take 6,288.96MW, a determination that was made by the TCN’s System Operator, in a load stress study that was conducted in 2015.”
The power firms also stated that the TCN’s operationally tested capacity to transmit the energy that it received from power generation companies had remained at 5,300MW.
“To date, the TCN has only on a one-time basis evacuated or transmitted peak energy of 4,577MW (February 2nd, 2016). The TCN’s capacity to transmit energy daily hovers within a range of 3,500 to 4,000MW, with a predominance of transmission at the lower end of the range,” ANED stated.
The association also argued that no 2,000MW of electricity was stranded as a result of distribution network limitations.
It said, “The sector has an estimated available capacity of 7,000MW, of which, on a daily basis, 2,000MW remains constrained by lack of gas, transmission line frequency challenges and hydro constraints.”
The TCN, however, insisted that the current inadequacies in the distribution networks were limiting the amount of power delivered to end users on a daily basis, adding that there was a need for significant investment in the distribution network.
“As of December 2017, the TCN’s capacity stood at 7,124MW and since then, the company has installed several transformers, re-conducted transmission lines, rehabilitated as well as built new substations across the country,” the company’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Ndidi Mbah, said.