The amount of electricity generated by the nation’s 27 power stations fell below 3,000 megawatts on Sunday as low load demand by distribution companies continued to limit generation. The PUNCH reported earlier this month that 17 of the stations had been forced to shut down some of their units on the back of low demand by the Discos, worsening the blackout being experienced by millions of customers across the country.
Total power generation in the country dropped to 2,970MW as of 6am on Sunday from 3,182.2MW on Saturday, data obtained by our correspondent from the Nigeria Electricity System Operator showed. The output of the power stations dropped to 3,074.6MW on Friday from 3,290.9MW on Thursday.
A report from the system operator showed that a total of 2,159.7MW generation capacity was idle on Thursday as a result of low load demand by Discos while 112.5MW was unutilised because of line constraints. Eight power plants, including four built under the National Integrated Power Project, did not generate any megawatt of electricity as of 6am on Thursday. The affected plants are Afam IV & V, Omotosho I, Alaoji NIPP, Olorunsogo NIPP, Omotosho NIPP, Gbarain NIPP, AES IPP and ASCO IPP.
The nation generates most of its electricity from gas-fired power plants, while output from hydropower plants makes up about 30 per cent of the total. The system operator 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 5,375MW. The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on August 15, lamented the inability of the Discos to distribute available grid power to consumers, describing the distribution capacity in the 11 Discos as significantly low. “Despite the availability of about 8,000MW of generation and about 7,000MW of transmission capacity, lack of Disco infrastructure to absorb and deliver grid power to end users has largely restricted generation to an average of about 4,000MW,” he said.