System collapse: TCN intensifies effort to acquire SCADA

By Obas Esiedesa

As part of effort to end frequent national grid collapses, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has said acquiring a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) has reached advanced stage.

TCN CEO, Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed who disclosed this in an interview in Abuja said the grid system has achieved significant level of stability.

Having a functional SCADA is part of the four-year Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP) started last year by TCN.

He said: “We have achieved a significant level of stability as at today, all generators connected to the grid are now on free governor control mechanism. This is significant, but we still have the problem of matching demand and supply especially when it rains there is usually sudden drop in load because of the poor network of the DisCos (electricity distribution companies).

“On SCADA/EMS, we have also launched the procurement of Critical Optical Ground Wire (OPGW) for the few areas not covered under TREP. All our lines are going to have OPGW after which we will close all communication backbone to make it possible for us to have a functional SCADA. We have selected 15 staff of TCN and commenced training them extensively. We have sent them to Ghana, and sent a team to Brazil to learn how automation is done and have equally commenced the procurement of a Supervisory Consultant”.

He explained that TCN has also “finished the design for the control room; adapted the PJM model of one National Control Center with two Work Centers in Osogbo and Shiroro and they are going to work real time in synchronism. All these are in readiness for the launching of SCADA. We have also procured a contractor for the AMR (Automatic Meter Reading) which is also a component of SCADA. The implementation of the project is going on smoothly”.

To improve power supply to Abuja, the nation’s capital, Mr. Mohammed said a new 330kV line is being built from Lafia to Abuja while five new substations would also be built.

“Abuja wheeling scheme project comprises five new substations in Abuja and a new 330kV transmission line supply route from Lafia to Abuja. TCN staff completed all the studies before the contract was awarded.

“Before now, contracts are awarded without completing all the studies but this time, we completed all the studies, paid the compensations for the Right of Way (RoW), before we launched the process. So the implementation of that project is on track. We are working to deliver the substations and a new transmission line supply route to Abuja which would make Abuja consistent with N-2 criteria in terms of 330kV transmission line” he added.

The TCN boss also disclosed that from 2017 to October 2019 the transmission company has installed and commissioned 68 power transformers across the country.

He said the least capacity among them is the 30MVA transformer installed in Gombe.

“The rest of them are 60MVA and above. It’s no longer business as usual, any contractor that refuses to do what he is supposed to do, we cancel the contract and take over the job by ourselves and complete it. When we did the last simulation of the grid which was in December 2018, the grid moved from 5,500 to 8,100.

“Our intention is to reconductor and build more transmission lines. There are some areas where we have high transformer capacity but the line that will give them power is not adequate. We are going to reconductor such lines”, he added.

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