Power: Why national grid collapsed- TCN

Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) says the collapse of the National Grid on May 8 at 14:32 hours was caused by a multiple tripping around its substation in Onitsha, Anambra State.

Managing director of TCN, Mohammed Usman, said this at a news conference in Abuja on Friday.

The national electricity grid had on Wednesday experience some disturbance resulting in reduction of electricity allocation to electricity distribution companies in the country.

Mohammed said the collapse might also had been triggered because of one of the generators that went off, saying, “What happened a day before yesterday at 14:32 hours was a case of system collapse, we had tripping.

“The reason for the grid collapse was that there was a multiple tripping around Onitsha substation; we are also suspecting that that one of the generator went out. We have sent our team of engineers to go and investigate, we normally investigate this kind of disturbances.’’

He, however, said despite the fragile nature of the nation’s power grid, the TCN had archived some level of stability on the national grid.

“Although, we have achieved some level of stability on the grid through the massive investment that we have done in the last two years.

“It does not mean that our grid has become disturbance free, because our grid is still very fragile, it is a journey that we are in that will take us to have a modern and stabilised grid.

“You remember, I had told you that we need to archive four important things to have a stabilised grid.

“We need to have critical investment in lines and substations so that we put N-1 across the country, that will ensure that any equipment that goes out at any point in time will not affect supply on that area.

“For example what happened in Apo recently, where we had a transformer that got burnt, we restored supply in two hours, because we had N-1 in that substation and that is what we are trying to archive in all the country.”

He said the company had raised 1.6 billion dollars for investment in lines and transmission saying that attainment of the required investments in transmission would take some time .

“It is not what we will do in one day, the investment project for northern corridor transmission project, we just advertised, the one for Abuja, transmission project, we just signed, the one for Lagos and Ogun transmission project, we are about to launch the procurement process.

“The one for World Bank, we just launched the project, but the equipment has not arrived, so we are on a journey.’’
Mohammed said there was the urgent need to have a functional SCADA in the power sector to monitor activities on the national grid.

“If we have a functional SCADA, the SCADA will show clearly what happened on the grid, and that is why we in TCN, deployment of SCADA is not an option, we have to deploy it.

“Because for us to have modern grid you need to have a functional SCADA, but management of the grid.’’
He said there was also the urgent need to have a commensurate investment on the distribution chain to ensure a stable grid in the country.

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