By Adedapo Adesanya
To deal with recurring cases of network outage, the federal government said it would expedite the purchase and installation of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system.
SCADA system is software used to monitor and control a power grid system based on the information it collects from the substations of that system.
It was then that the country witnessed the fifth grid collapse this year over the weekend.
Following the failure of the Federal Government to acquire SCADA, the supply system was unable to provide remote coverage and an interconnected network communication relay to allow distribution companies (Discos) to have real-time access to monitor and control their distribution infrastructure.
This indicates that Nigerian nightclubs are still using the analog fault detection system within their networks.
However, the FG stated that SCADA would help monitor/control existing injection and distribution substations.
This would further reduce downtime, help locate faults, track and restore the system in the event of a crash, increase revenue generation and reduce overall technical, commercial and collection (ATC&C) losses.
In March 2022, the country experienced a power outage twice amid a severe fuel crisis as well as in January and February this year. The latest system collapse has occurred twice within hours.
The network, which is operated by the government-owned Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), has continued to experience system collapse over the years due to a lack of spinning reserve to prevent such occurrences.
A statement released on Saturday by Energy Minister Abubakar Aliyu, signed on his behalf by his special media adviser, Mr Isa Sanusi, noted that stakeholders were working around the clock to ensure that normality is restored as soon as possible.
Mr Aliyu added that power had already been restored to several parts of the country since the last incident, noting that he was carrying out reforms to ensure such power outages were kept to a minimum.
“We would like to inform the general public of the impact of a system meltdown that occurred at 6:30 p.m. on April 8, 2022, resulting in power outages in many parts of the country.
“While a detailed investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the recurrent grid outage is currently underway by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the System Operator (the National Grid Operator) , the supply restoration process is underway with some sections of the national grid already supplied and consumer supply restored.
“We wish to assure Nigerians that the Federal Government is working diligently to implement much-needed reforms and investments, including SCADA, which are essential to improving the capacity and reliability of the national grid.
“This is in line with Mr. President’s directives on reducing infrastructure deficits in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy,” the minister explained.
In addition, the FG has blamed the current nationwide outage on damage caused by suspected vandals to one of its facilities in the Niger Delta.
He said the vandalism of the transmission tower at Odukpani Ikot-Ekpene had resulted in a substantial loss of power generation.
“Following our previous press release, we would like to inform the general public that the immediate cause of the nationwide blackout (system collapse) was an act of vandalism to a transmission tower on the Odukpani Ikot Ekpene 330kV dual circuit transmission line .
“This resulted in a sudden loss of approximately 400 MW of production. This consequently led to a cascade of factory closures across the country.
“We wish to advise the public that power to the grid is being restored sequentially by the system operator as other power plants on the grid are dispatched to cover lost generating capacity at the Calabar Power Plant owned by the Niger Power Holding Company Ltd.,” noted the Minister.