Power distribution companies often reject about 90 percent of the quantum of energy that is allocated to them whenever there is rainfall in their areas of operation; data obtained from the Transmission Company of Nigeria have shown.
It was also observed that most Discos hardly take the electricity load allocated to them in the multi year tariff order as approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
A document on power systems and functions of System Operations – an arm of TCN, which was obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday, showed that some Discos take as low as 90 megawatts of power from an allocation of 1,000MW whenever it rained in their franchise areas.
In the section of the document that focused on the inability of Discos to utilise the available power generation, TCN explained that the transmission network as of February 7 was able to wheel 5,375MW, adding that transmission capacity had increased since then.
It said, “From detailed computer simulations, the national grid is capable of wheeling 8,000MW. This figure can be independently verified by any interested party. Furthermore there is massive load reduction by Disco during any rainfall.
“Ikeja and Eko distribution companies, for example, had sometimes reduced their combined load utilisation from over 1,000MW to less than 90MW because of rainfall. This has made management of the national grid extremely difficult and its stability tenuous.
“Consistently, Discos have been unable to take up a substantial percentage of that available generation.”
Further analysis of data in the document showed that the electricity load utilisation of each of the 11 Discos was also lower than what was allocated to them through the MYTO, even during periods of no rainfall.
It stated that on August 27, for instance, the approved MYTO load allocations to Abuja, Benin, Eko, Enugu, Ibadan and Ikeja Discos were 505.22MW, 395.39MW, 583.25MW, 420.39MW, 592.11MW and 758.98MW, respectively.
But the six power firms’ actual consumptions in the same order were 382.18MW, 216.97MW, 429.92MW, 252.2MW, 421.9MW and 526.83MW, respectively.
For Jos, Kaduna, Kano, Port Harcourt and Yola Discos, the MYTO allocations approved for them by NERC were 241.62MW, 351.45MW, 351.45MW, 300.56MW and 153.76MW, respectively.
But these companies actually accepted 134.32MW, 162.4MW, 136.37MW, 189.92MW and 109.74MW, respectively.
Power generation companies are also not comfortable with the persistent rejection of energy by distributors.
According to the Gencos, the power sector can now boast of an available capacity of about 8,000MW and installed capacity of about 13,427MW, as against an average of 3,500MW utilised capacity.
“This poor utilisation figure is a huge disincentive to further investments in capacity recovery and installing additional generation capacity, as it makes no sense for a Genco to increase its available generation capacity only to be rejected and hence uncompensated,” the Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies, Joy Ogaji, said.