Volta River Authority to expand smart grid project nationwide

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Owura Kwaku Sarfo,
Chief Executive,
VRA
 
Akosombo, Ghana — (METERING.COM) — January 9, 2009 – Ghana’s national utility, the Volta River Authority (VRA), has concluded a 5-year contract with BPL Global subsidiary BPL Africa to implement smart grid technologies and broadband over power line (BPL) communications technology on the utility’s 11 kV power distribution network.

In July 2008, BPL Global and BPL Africa deployed a pilot project for VRA demonstrating a modern grid. As a result of the pilot VRA has decided to deploy the smart grid and BPL solutions across its power distribution network. Phase 1 of the project will provide services to the areas of Akosombo (population 15,000), Sunyani (population 80,000), and Tamale (population 305,000), capital of the northern region of Ghana.

Smart grid solutions to be deployed for VRA include BPL Global’s Power SG® network monitoring and management, rapid fault location, demand management, non-technical loss management, substation automation, transformer monitoring and CCTV security systems. Broadband communications solutions include broadband internet access and VoIP telephony.

“VRA’s focus right now is to make sure that we produce reliable, stable and adequate power,” said Owura Kwaku Sarfo, chief executive of VRA. “To achieve our goal of efficient and reliable energy for Ghana, we have chosen the Power SG smart grid solutions as we believe that building an intelligent and modern grid is our best investment in the future.”

The smart grid system is designed to reduce frequency and duration of outages, improve the balance of supply and demand, and improve operational efficiency.

“In Ghana, demand for electricity has been increasing at a rate of 10 to 15 percent per annum for the last two decades. Thus an important consideration is to match the growth rate of electricity demand with adequate supply,” said Dieudonné Bakarani, founder and president of BPL Africa.

“We are very pleased through our partnership with BPL Global to be able to deploy smart grid solutions that will greatly benefit quality of life and economic expansion in Ghana,” Bakarani commented, adding that BPL Africa is presently finalizing plans for smart grid deployments in a number of other sub-Saharan Africa countries.

The Volta River Authority generates and supplies electrical energy for industrial, commercial and domestic use in Ghana.

BPL Global, Ltd. is a smart grid software solutions and services provider dedicated to leading the transformation of energy efficiency and reliability.