Sunday Oduntan, executive director, research and advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), says the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) only has the capacity to transmit 4000MW of electricity out of 7000MW.
Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, had said power generation capacity has increased to 7,000 megawatts (MW).
In a statement on Sunday, Oduntan said TCN’s capacity to transmit energy daily is between 3,500 and 4,000MW, adding that the DisCos are not the weakest link in the electricity chain.
DisCos, he said, have a capacity to offtake 6,288.96 MW, according to a load stress study carried out by TCN’s system operator in 2015.
Oduntan said: “TCN’s operationally tested capacity to transmit the energy that it receives remains at 5,300 MW.
“To date, TCN has only, on a one-time basis, evacuated or transmitted a peak energy of 4,577 MW (February 2nd, 2016). TCN’s capacity to transmit energy, daily, hovers within a range of 3,500 to 4,000 MW, with a predominance of transmission at the lower end of the range.
“Using the aforementioned analogy of a car, it means that even if the car has enough fuel and is technically capable of traveling for 7,000 miles, it is limited by the availability of only 3,500 to 4,000 miles of road.
“The DisCos’ responsibility begins at the end of that road, for further distribution to the customers. In other words, the capacity to wheel any level of energy to be distributed by the DisCos is subject to the stability and availability of the transmission grid. Indeed, a DisCo experienced – over a six-month period – 2,000 recorded instances of transmission interface interruptions – interruptions that are replicated across all the DisCos.
“The DisCos have a capacity to offtake 6,288.96 MW, a determination that was made by TCN’s System Operator, in a load stress study that was conducted in 2015. Even if there is value in investing in distribution assets associated with the “stranded 2,000 MW,” the non-alignment of transmission capacity, the link between generation and distribution, would compromise such an investment.”
“First, while the sector has an estimated available capacity of 7,000 MW, of which, on a daily basis, 2,000 MW remains constrained by lack of gas (specifically, an average of 1,500 MW, given that 25 out of 28 of our generation plants are gas-powered thermal plants) caused by an inadequate and incomplete gas pipeline structure and the absence of a strong commercial framework that will spur gas exploration and sales; and the balance of 500 MW is limited by transmission line frequency challenges, transmission line limitations and hydro constraints.“