By Etuka Sunday
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) yesterday alleged that the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has designed new system of power load rejection using Auto-Recloser Circuit.
Auto-Recloser Circuit are class of switchgears which are designed for use on overhead electricity distribution networks for protection; by detecting and interrupting momentary faults.
TCN however, told some selected journalists in Abuja who were on tour of the facility to really know the quantum of Stranded Power available, that AEDC now uses it to deny customers power supply.
Explaining the new system of power load rejection by AEDC, the Assistant General Manager, Transmission, Apo Region, Engr. Mahmud Suleiman Adamu said, TCN has enough supply especially in Karu but AEDC refused to take it.
“You see, when AEDC were pushing us to load shed from Karu here (to open feeders) so that they can deny customers supply, we said no, because that was not a good Industry practice. They went ahead to install Auto-recloser circuit to deny customers supply.
“Anytime they want, they will come and open it so as not to take the power. They want to take control of the feeders but we said no, because that is against Industry practice.
“We have escalated this to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and to the management of TCN and they have set that out before the NERC.
“On stranded power, in some days AEDC takes 17 megawatts (MW) out of 96MW here in Karu substation and in some instances, it is around 35 to 60MW, so we have redundancy.
“They also have poor line construction and once it is raining in Abuja, all the outgoing feeders will be out which is basically a result of lack of maintenance and poor construction. With that condition, all our transformers will be humming without dispatching load,” he said.
Engr. Mahmud further explained that TCN has a total capacity of 290MVA in Apo. “We have 2 x 100MVA and 2 x 45MVA. The substation supplies most of the load at presidential villa, part of Apo legislative quarters up to Lokogoma. It is the first substation in Abuja since the 1980s. with the coming of the new management, the new management added 100MVA capacity and rehabilitated most of our equipment like isolators, switchgears and circuit breakers.
“With the cooperation of Japan, we got a 2 x 30MVAR capacitor bank which was donated as a grant by the Japanese government during this present management. When we experience low voltage, it steps it up for voltage improvement to AEDC, our customer.
“At Katampe, we had 2 x 60MVA but the present management added 100MVA transformer capacity and has been commissioned since February 2018. That is an improved capacity equivalent to 80MW. Within Abuja franchise area, the new management was able within two years to add 304MW additional capacity to the AEDC franchise area.
“Most of the issue we are having with AEDC is what they call load management but from our side, we look at it as load rejection. We have capacity to supply them more power but they refuse to. That is why the Managing Director of TCN said the DisCos need to capitalize, they need to invest more. A lot of expansion projects are going on at TCN, so they need to do same.
“In percentage, we have 100 per cent o give and they are taking 60 per cent and at times 70 per cent and rejecting 40 per cent,” he said.
The AGM said, “at Kukwuaba substation, there is 2 x 60MVA capacity about 98MW. Presently the load on those transformers is about 60 per cent as well. We are at the mercy of AEDC.
“TCN is do a lot in expansion, we have to synergise with the DisCo. We need commensurate effort from the DisCos so that ordinary Nigerians can feel the impact of government’s investment in the transmission.
“Most of the DisCos adopt the same practice. There is the eligible customer being introduced where customers could take power directory from the Generation Companies (GenCos) and TCN is paid for transmitting that power.
“But we are at their mercy and maybe government has to look at the present arrangement for us to feel the real impact of improved generation and transmission,” he said.
All efforts to get the side of AEDC at press time failed.