By Teddy Nwanunobi
Abuja (Sundiata Post) — The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), on Friday, reacted to some recent reports of request to generation companies to ‘ramp down’.
In general, it said, electricity is not stored, but is used as it is being generated.
“Therefore, at any particular moment in time, there is a power flow balance equation that determines system frequency, with the target of operating at 50HZ frequency.
“It is the duty of the System Operator (SO) to monitor the power flow on the national grid to ensure optimal operating conditions. This will ensure the system is operated at a frequency close to 50HZ, and at voltages within tolerable limits.
“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 Operators’ 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.
“This year, the highest generation level stands at 4,650MW, while the wheeling capacity of TCN is 6,500MW.
“It is, therefore, not a wheeling capacity challenge, but a demand side management problem from some DISCOs rejecting available power.
“As the nation’s transmission company, we understand the importance of our role in the power sector value chain, and the effect our decisions and directives may have on the quantum of power transmitted to end users.
“We also know that power supply is very important for our socio-economic development.
“Load management decisions at the level of transmission are taken with high sense of duty to the nation, and for the growth of the power sector,” TCN explained in an emailed statement issued by its General Manager (Public Affairs), Seun Olagunju.