A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Weak power transmission networks affecting our equipment – Gencos

*Power Transmission Tower.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi
13 February 2018, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The gas-fired and hydro-power power generation companies (Gencos) have reached out to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to improve its transmission networks to avoid their generating machines from having recurring frequency oscillations.

The Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), which represents the generation firms, revealed in a statement that the “Frequency oscillations which are due to weak transmission network, have adverse effects on the generators, units and station auxiliaries in both the thermal and hydro power plants.”

The group said one of the effects of the frequency oscillations was that it increases the fixed cost of maintaining the machines and the variable maintenance cost.

The Executive Secretary of APGC, Dr. Joy Ogaji, said that about 24 operational GenCos are designed to operate optimally and efficiently at base loads but that operating less than these caused reduction in efficiency and a hike in gas consumption by 15 to 20 per cent which is not captured in the tariff – Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO).

She also noted that whenever there is a system collapse, the number of Start and Stops of those machines increased the machines and turbines’ Equivalent Operating Hours (EOH), triggering more maintenance costs.

APGC said the generating firms have been operating under high frequency which it described as ‘System Stress Zone’ in the grid code ranging from 48.75 Hertz (Hz) to 51.25Hz which is against the normal 49.75 – 50.25 Hz band.

“This high frequency is damaging the generators and it also induces high temperature and overheating in the rotor,” Ogaji lamented.

The Gencos therefore demanded that the TCN install regulatory spinning reserve on the network as stated by the Grid Code formed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), and implementation of the reviewed payment for spinning reserve procurement.

They also urged NERC to immediately intervene by ensuring strict adherence to the Grid Code by TCN.

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