NERC stops TCN tariff public hearing, orders customers briefing

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Wednesday stopped a public hearing on the application for the extraordinary tariff review for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) insisting that the company must fully prepare to brief customers with details. Chairman of the three-man hearing panel and Vice Chairman of NERC, Engr. Sanusi Garba, who declared the hearing open in Abuja and listened to presentation by TCN, said the briefing was sketchy and that the agency must fully respond to questions from consumers.

He said, “It would seem TCN was not fully prepared for today’s hearing and to provide elaborate response to the consumers. We will have to shift it to Monday 16th of March and call it a day.” Garba noted that the public hearing was at the instance of TCN, which seeks tariff review to provide ancillary services including Spinning Reserve (SR) to stabilise the national grid.

The Market Operator at TCN, Engr. Edmund Eje had explained that TCN did a competitive procurement and contracted six Generation Companies (GenCos) to provide 220 megawatts (MW) spinning reserve which could cut down rising incidences of system collapses. TCN has recorded over 110 incidences that often plunges the country into partial or total outages when they occur. If the tariff review is approved by NERC, it could increase the current electricity payment from consumers by 7.5 percent but could guarantee stable power supply.

Eje also said the present 4,500MW power grid requires a 10 percent spinning reserve but that TCN started with 220MW due to the cost implication. He said the six GenCos providing the spinning reserve will be observed for six months before any review. “Once this spinning reserve is deployed, it is expected that appreciable grid stability will be achieved”, Eje said.

However, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Port Harcourt DisCo, Engr. Kingsley Achife queried why consumers should pay for inefficiency of GenCos. Kano DisCo’s COO, Mr. Rahul Singh also asked of the GenCos’ selection process, fearing they may have under-declared their generation capacity.

Responding, Eje said due diligence was done on the GenCos’ load capacity, adding that costs in the electricity market are often borne by electricity consumers and that the proposed rate to pay for spinning reserve is only to guarantee stability in bulk power evacuation to DisCos to supply customers.

 

Source: Daily Trust

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