Nigeria power sector records 129 -grid collapse after 8yrs of privatisation
The notion hitherto paraded in some quarters that the incidents of power grid collapses in Nigeria would speedily evaporate when the sector is handed over to private sector operators appears to have become a mirage.
This is because available evidence indicates that the challenge appears to be going out of hand, as the number of collapse per annum continues to increase since 2013 despite the federal government’s claim of its commitment to tackle the issue.
EnergyDay investigation revealed that the country’s national power grid suffered a total of 129 collapses between 2013 when the power sector was privatised and May 2021.
Further analysis revealed that the sector equally experienced a total of three system collapses in five months (between January and May, 2021), against two recorded in the corresponding year of 2020.
Industry experts and operators say outages/grid collapses occur when there are system disturbances along the transmission grid. Such disturbances could include a massive drop of load from a sub-station that would cause the grid to become unstable.
Detailed report of grid collapses recorded within the first five months of this year include; February 17th, March 15th and 12th of May, 2021. This is against the corresponding year’s system collapses which occurred in January 16 and April 29, 2020.
However, industry experts who spoke to EnergyDay on the issue attributed the situation to numerous factors such as aging transmission network, obsolete substation equipment, load rejection or uninstructed generation/overload among others.
Meanwhile, a breakdown of collapse incidents in the past eight years shows that the country recorded two (2) partial collapses with twenty-two (22) total collapses in 2013. In 2014 the there were four(4) partial collapses and nine(9) total collapses.
The figures for 2015 was four (4) partial collapses and six(6) total collapses. In 2016, the country recorded twenty-two (22) partial collapses, which is the highest till date, with a drop in total collapses which was put at six(6). Whereas in 2017, the situation went back to normal with partial collapses dropping from 22 in previous year to nine (9), with corresponding increase in total collapses from six(6) to fifteen (15).
“In 2018, 13 collapses occurred with one (1) partial and twelve (12) total collapses. It was also reported that two collapses were witnessed within 16 hours in 2018, even as the first grid collapse took place around 10:20 pm on Tuesday, January 2, 2018, and other followed by 2.19pm on Wednesday.
“In 2019, 10 grid failures were recorded, against four collapses recorded in 2020. On May 12, 2021 grid failure was reported bringing the number of power grid failures within the last 4 years to 30 out of which 27 incident occurred in 3 years.
The above development shows that an average of 9 grid failures occurred in Nigeria, annually. Following the May 12, 2021 collapse incidence, TCN had revealed that it was waiting for the National Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, to approve the 260megawatts, MW, spinning reserve it recently procured, being part of 400MW reserve needed to contain the grid frequent failures.