NERC probes equipment protection conflict in power sector


THE Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, says that it has begun investigation into the recurring equipment protection challenges between power distribution companies, Discos, and the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN. On several occasions, Discos and TCN had blamed each other over issues pertaining to the deployment of poor equipment protection gadgets in the power system.

This, according to them, had led to the damage of either transmission or distribution equipment, as both the Discos and TCN had repeatedly described each other as the weakest link in the power value chain. Reacting to a recent disagreement between TCN and the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, NERC said in a notice to power sector licensees on Tuesday that it had started an investigation the recurring challenge.

“The commission has commenced an investigation into the recurring protection and relay coordination challenges between TCN and all Discos for an independent assessment of the situation. This is to ensure a lasting solution to issues militating against a sustained improvement in quality of service and reliability of supply.”

It stated that in this regard, the commission had scheduled a meeting with TCN and AEDC on Thursday on the matter. The NERC said it would also come up with a regulation that would handle matters of this nature going forward.

“The commission shall schedule further meetings with the other Discos to address similar Issues, following which an appropriate regulatory instrument shall be issued providing general direction in Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry on system protection and other related matters.”

The commission further ordered all licensees to stop forthwith any public display of indiscretion on operational matters in the electricity industry. “Furthermore, all licensees are hereby reminded to apprise themselves of the dispute resolution procedure and processes provided in the market rules governing the operation of the industry.”

The NERC’s directive was issued after its attention was drawn to the exchange of technical opinions and blame trading in the public space between the TCN and AEDC on matters that bordered essentially on power system operation and outage management.

“The commission hereby considers such discourse in the arena of public opinion as serving no useful purpose towards improving quality of service to the teeming electricity consumers and the Nigerian economy in general,” it stated.

NERC expressed concerns that capitalisation of network utilities, an issue bordering on government policy and regulatory direction, had become a subject of campaign on various social media platforms.

– May 1, 2020 @ 16:35 GMT |

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