Power deal with government will curb grid collapses, says Siemens

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Referencing the incessant collapses of national electricity grid in the country, Siemens Limited has said the power deal with the Federal Government of Nigeria will put an end to the incidents.

The Federal Government and Siemens AG, in July 2019, had signed a Letter of Agreement on the Nigerian Electrification Roadmap, now Presidential Power Initiative, to boost electricity generation to 25,000 megawatts in the country in six years.

Subsequently, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), July 29, 2020, approved the payment of €15.21million (N6,940,081,465.20) offshore and N1.708billion onshore as part of Nigeria’s counterpart funding for the power deal with Siemens AG, signed by the Nigerian and German governments in 2019.

The Punch reports Mr. Oludayo Orolu, Head of Business Development and Government Affairs, in an interview, noted that the Transmission Company of Nigeria had been able to build up capacity at the transmission part of the value chain to over 8,000MW.

The TCN, which manages the national grid, is still fully-owned and operated by the government.

The system operator, an arm of the TCN, put the nation’s installed generation capacity at 12,910.40MW; available capacity at 7,652.60MW; transmission wheeling capacity at 8,100MW; and the peak generation ever attained at 5,377MW.

“Our focus is to raise the operational capacity to 7,000MW in the first phase of the project.

“By operational capacity, we mean what comes to the transmission grid, what gets evacuated to the distribution grid, and what gets dispatched to the consumers,” Orolu said.

According to him, “if you have 7,000MW or 8,000MW capacity at the transmission level and what gets to consumers is about 4,000MW, there is a mismatch.”

He assured that Siemens would support the TCN to reinforce its assets, upgrade some substations, build new ones as well as upgrade substations and other facilities at the distribution level.

He stated: “What we are doing is to see how the various components of that grid can be strengthened to make sure that they are stronger and more stable to give us reliable electricity.

“So, the objective of this project is to bring an end to those grid collapses.”

Recall that the national grid has continued to suffer system collapse over the years amid lack of spinning reserve that is meant to forestall such occurrences.

Spinning reserve is the generation capacity that is online but unloaded and that can respond within 10 minutes to compensate for generation or transmission outages.

Between November 1, 2013 and May 2020, the number of total grid collapse recorded was 83 while the grid partially collapsed 25 times, report said.

As part of the pre-engineering activities, Orolu Siemens would carry out system studies and training on power simulation for employees of the TCN, distribution companies and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

“We will look at the 25,000MW scenario, which is the target for the Presidential Power Initiative; our experts will look at the grid – what is currently there, from generation to transmission to distribution – and model what it would look like under a 25,000MW capacity.

“They will be able to identify where reinforcement will be required at every segment of the power sector value chain in terms of evacuation and dispatch of whatever power that is being generated,” he stated.

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