Again, Discos Deny Rejecting Electricity Loads from TCN

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Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) in Nigeria’s electricity market have again denied rejecting volumes of electricity supplied to them by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) for onwards distribution to customers in their distribution networks.

The Discos said in a statement from their association – the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), recently in Abuja that it was natural for electricity demands of their customers to drop at night, pointing out that such development has been misrepresented by the TCN as load rejection.

ANED’s spokesperson, Mr. Sunday Oduntan, stated that the TCN has frequently misinterpreted energy readings of the Discos by miscalculating drop in electricity demand from customers at night as load rejection.

He said the Discos’ stations have capacities that are higher than the energy allocation from the grid, but often receive less from the transmission network.

“What has happened is the inaccurate rendering or misinterpretation by the System Operator (SO) of Discos’ minimum and maximum load readings. The SO in its recent allegation of load rejection against Discos wrongly projected the load drop/demand, during off-peak hours (night times) as load rejection.

“This is not, and cannot be labelled as load rejection by Discos. Naturally, Discos take and distribute more energy during the day time/business hours than night time when demand is generally low due to lesser demand. The unfair interpretation of off-peak energy data as load rejection is grossly inaccurate and misleading,” said Oduntan.

He further explained: “The unfair interpretation of off-peak energy data as load rejection is grossly inaccurate and misleading. The occasional times Discos have been unable to distribute energy received are directly due to the inadequate TCN infrastructural interface with the Discos.”

Oduntan, also stated that the distribution stress test reports of most Discos revealed average Station Capacity Utilisation (SCU) of less than 50 per cent due to TCN infrastructural constraints.

He cited instances of Ibadan Disco where about 803 megawatts (MW) of its 1,538MW capacity is restricted due to TCN’s undersized 132kV line conductors at Ayede/Sagumu/Ijebu-Ode, aged indoor breakers and transformer capacity limitations, with over loaded transformers in Ibadan North and in Shagamu.
Oduntan equally referred to the review of the National Control Centre (NCC)’s report for September 3, 2017, and said that transmission frequency constraints constituted the biggest impediment to the flow of energy to the Discos.

“Of note are the Discos’ legitimate concerns of TCN’s need to stop the indiscriminate load dumping to impractical network areas that make distribution inefficient, unviable and impracticable for technical and commercial efficiencies, due to poor infrastructure construction, substandard materials and inefficient reckless approvals of grid extensions for political considerations and interference during the days of NEPA/PHCN,” Oduntan stated.