Lagos — The amount of energy generated by Nigeria’s power plants recorded a decline of 10.71 percent in the third quarter of 2019 from the 66.04% recorded during the preceding quarter.
Statistics from the System Operator said the average dispatch rate (or load factor) stood at 55.33% during the third quarter, indicating that an average power plant operating during the third quarter 2019 had just 55.33% of its available capacity dispatched by the System Operator, SO.
Only one (Paras Energy) of the twenty-five power plants in operation during the quarter under review had at least 80% of its available capacity dispatched by SO.
Paras Energy had the highest load factor of 80.76% followed by Trans Amadi which recorded 75.76% load factor.
During the same period, Azura power plant had 44.88% load factor while hydropower plants had dispatch rates ranging between 60.17% (Shiroro) to 69.35% (Kainji).
Towards the end of the third quarter 2019, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC issued an Order to the SO declaring hydropower plants as ‘must run’ in order to ensure that hydro plants are efficiently dispatched, given their low tariffs and in consideration of safety associated with spilling of water from dams during the raining season.
Twelve of the twenty-six operational power plants accounted for 78.88% of the total electric energy generated during the third quarter.
Egbin power plant accounted for the highest share, 10.86% of the total energy output followed by Transcorp power plant (Delta) which accounted for 9.65% energy share.
Olorunsogo NIPP power plant accounted for the least share of output during the third quarter with 0.03%.
This clearly shows that energy generation in Nigeria still heavily depends on a few numbers of plant, as seven of the operating plants accounted for 57.22% of the total electric energy output during third quarter of 2019.
As previously reported, NERC has advised that the seeming overreliance of the grid on the energy supplied from just a few power plants may pose a risk to the industry because downtime in any of them may result in grid instability if there are no adequate proactive measures such as adequate spinning reserves.
“In order to mitigate the risk to grid stability that may arise from inadequate generation from any of the seven major plants, the Commission continued the evaluation of the outcome of the competitive procurement of spinning reserves conducted by TCN. The procurement of adequate spinning reserves are to ensure proper management of the grid by the System Operator”, NERC said in a note to SweetcrudeReports.