TCN: We’re Not Responsible for Incessant Load Shedding

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By Emmanuel Addeh

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has exonerated itself from any blame in connection with the incessant load shedding and power outages in the country.

General Manager, Public Affairs of the organisation, Mrs. Ndidi Mbah, in a statement in Abuja, explained that the TCN does not also switch off consumer power feeders, contrary to misconceptions in certain quarters.

She maintained that off-taking 12MW through an 11kV distribution feeder for onward delivery to customers, remains the responsibility of power distributors like the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) and not the TCN.

“For the purpose of clarification, TCN does not distribute electricity to electricity consumers and cannot also switch off consumer feeders. Its jurisdiction on the network is from 330 kilovolt (kV) to 132kV power lines.

The company cannot switch off consumers’ feeders as it is not within TCN’s jurisdiction.

“The fact is that electricity cannot be stored; therefore, power generation, transmission and distribution occur simultaneously. What determines what is put on the grid, is what the distribution companies are ready to off-take.

“This equally regulates what the generator would generate, which is why the Discos are required to nominate what they would off-take a day ahead. It is important to note that whatever happens on the downstream network, impacts on transmission and generators.

“The TCN grid network has the capacity of 8,100MW even as it continues to work towards completing ongoing projects to further increase its capacity,” she stated.

The TCN explained that it would be wrong to attribute most localised outages and load-shedding of consumers’ feeders to it, insisting that Discos can only off-take what is generated, while Gencos can only generate what Discos can off take.

“Each of the 11 Discos has its own challenges which may necessitate outage in certain places per time. Under Abuja region of TCN, Gwagwalade-Karu line does not exist as has been mentioned in some quarters. There is no direct link between Gwagwalada and Karu Transmission Substation.

“On the Gwagwalada – Apo line however, there is a tee-off on the line which feeds Kukwaba Transmission Substation through Apo Transmission Substation. TCN does not have any problem at its Kukwaba or Apo Substation that would require cutting supply to any of Abuja Disco feeders.

“Electricity customers are connected directly on 33kV lines which TCN operators have no control over, except during extreme emergency requiring operations crew to quickly open such feeder to enable maintenance service,” the company noted.

TCN further stressed that it had in recent times taken a more responsive approach serving the Gencos in its upstream and the Discos in its downstream, while optimising its available resources to through effective maintenance of the existing grid network.