Joint venture will expand smart grid footprint


Pittsburgh, PA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — May 30, 2008 – BPL Global™, Ltd. (BPLG), a smart grid technology company dedicated to the transformation of energy and information delivery, has entered into a partnership with BPL Africa whereby the two companies plan to create joint ventures within a number of African countries to support development of smart grid projects and related operations. BPLG brings an integrated set of smart grid solutions allowing utilities to better manage supply and demand, integrate distributed energy resources and improve grid reliability to the venture. BPL Africa provides a capable local presence to accelerate regional business development and implementation.

Dieudonne Bakarani, President and founder of BPL Africa, has been involved in developing smart grid and broadband markets in Africa for more than six years. His experience and connections in Africa will help BPLG and BPL Africa to open up partnership and implementation opportunities throughout the continent. BPL Africa serves the African market from sales and operations offices in South Africa and Ghana, with plans to develop further operations across the continent.

"This partnership will allow us to further strengthen our local operating capability in Africa," said Pascal Julienne, President Executive Director of BPL Global EMEA. "Smart grid technology is ready to have a significant impact, improving the efficiency and reliability of energy delivery, and countries around the globe are beginning to utilize this technology to improve the performance of their electric grids."

Initially, the partnership has created two joint ventures, one for South Africa and one for Ghana. The Ghana JV has already secured a smart grid demonstration project in Akosombo, Ghana with the national utility, Volta River Authority (VRA). The initial project is focused on delivering management and control applications for the medium voltage grid and broadband access to schools and VRA offices. Smart grid applications to be deployed included BPLG’s Power SG® Network Monitoring and Management, Rapid Fault Location, Residential Demand Management, and Broadband Communications. BPLG will integrate the smart grid applications with an advanced metering infrastructure. The smart grid system is designed to reduce frequency and duration of outages, improve the balance of supply and demand, and improve operational efficiency.

"We believe that this partnership can offer considerable socio economic benefits in Ghana, arising from introduction of intelligent electricity distribution and BPL technology for cost effective internet services,” said Bakarani. “We are confident that the BPLG and BPL Africa teams will make this first deployment a success and as a result provide an example for many others to follow and implement throughout Africa.”