Power generation crashed to 3MW, FG begins probe

The Federal Government has commenced “a full-scale investigation” to establish the cause of the national electricity grid collapse which occurred on Wednesday and caused blackouts nationwide.

Although engineers from the Federal Government’s Transmission Company of Nigeria started grid restoration after the incident, industry figures seen on Thursday showed that power generation on the grid crashed from over 3,900 megawatts to 3MW during the collapse.

It would be recalled that Nigeria’s power grid collapsed again on Wednesday, as it crashed from the 3,921.8 megawatts that was generated at 6am to as low as 50MW around 12.23pm, causing widespread blackout across the country.

The report indicated that power generation on the grid had hit a peak of 4,091.6MW on Tuesday, but this dropped to 3,921.8MW on Wednesday morning, before crashing to about 50MW.

The report revealed that only the Abuja and Ibadan distribution companies received 40MW and 10MW of electricity load respectively as at 12.23pm on Wednesday, as other Discos got zero allocation.

But data seen on Thursday indicated that power generation on the grid crashed further to 3MW on Wednesday, which was recorded as the off-peak generation for that particular day.

Peak power generation on Wednesday was put at 3,967.1MW, but this dipped to 3,774.2MW as at 6am on Thursday.

This came as the General Manager, Public Affairs, TCN, Ndidi Mbah, explained that Wednesday’s grid collapse was a result of sudden drop in system frequency from 49.94Hz to 47.36Hz, which created system instability.

“According to reports obtained from the National Control Centre, it was precipitated by the tripping of a unit (with a load of 106MW) in one of the generating stations due to ‘Exhaust over Temperature’,” she stated in a statement issued in Abuja.

The TCN spokesperson added, “This unwholesome event, which pulled out other grid-connected units in the plant, resulted in aggregated generation loss of 457MW. In its wake, a train of events ensued, culminating in the collapse of the national grid.

“As obtainable in all systems, when a component of the electric power system is defective, the entire configuration is vitiated. However, inspite of setbacks encountered at the initial stage, grid restoration had almost been completed as at 11:00pm when this report was filed.”

TCN, however, appreciated the understanding of government and consumers of electricity within and outside the country, as it stressed that it had commenced full investigation to further ascertain the cause of the grid collapse.

Mbah said, “We are committed to leveraging the concerted interventions instituted thus far to enhance power supply reliability so that the issue of system collapse will soon become a thing of the past.

“Meanwhile, a full-scale investigation is being conducted to establish the cause of this failure.”

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