11 June 2013, Abuja – Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo, yesterday, inaugurated a technical investigative panel on system collapse to ascertain the major causes of power failure and proffer solution to mitigate future occurrences.
The panel, which is the first of its kind in the power sector, is expected to complete its assignment within two weeks.
It is also to determine the immediate and remote causes of system collapse, review system collapses that had occurred from January to date, review performance and effectiveness of the grid’s protection system in the period under review, consider any other system collapse related issue and recommend measures to further strengthen the protection mechanism.
Speaking at the inauguration, Prof. Nebo said “the government under President Goodluck Jonathan has consistently made efforts to improve infrastructure in the transmission network with project under the NIPP to close the gap in the existing networks nearing completion”.
According to him, “projects within budgetary provisions are being prioritized for completion, while other sources of funding, including private sector participation, are being explored”.
He said it was expected that with the handing over of Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, to Manitoba Hydro International, MHI, for contract management, there would be marked improvement in the wheeling of power to the consumers, in line with the roadmap.
He added that: “The President appropriately captured the weakness of the present transmission network at the unveiling of the Power Road-map in August 2010 when he noted that there is a gap between generation capacity and the capacity of the transmission grid”.
He explained that the supply of electricity was on real time basis as power is used at the same time of generation.
He said: “Whenever this equilibrium in supply and demand cannot be maintained, the resultant effect is frequency fluctuations, which could culminate in systems instability.
“This equilibrium, to a large extent, is maintained and determined by the strength of the transmission system which is the link between generation and distribution.
“The high rate of systems collapse in recent time, which has given rise to more than 15 times in the last five months, calls for a critical look. The technical investigative panel is therefore being constituted to investigate the cause of these collapses and proffer solutions aimed at forestalling future occurrences.”
Chairman of the panel, Engr. F. N. A Olapade, assured the minister of commitment from the team, urging members to brainstorm to meet the objectives the panel was set up.
Olapade said panel members would take cognisance of every factor involved, including man-made factors and the ‘acts of god’ as they affected systems collapses.
*Noel Onoja, Vanguard