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GRIDCo Press

 

OPENING KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY JONATHAN AMOAKO-BAAH CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF GHANA GRID COMPANY LIMITED (GRIDCo) AT REGIONAL ENERGY COOPERATION SUMMIT KEMPINSKI ACCRA

SEPTEMBER 27, 2018

Topic: Celebrating GRIDCo’s 10th Anniversary: Power Transmission – Ten Years On. What’s the Vision for the Future of Transmission Networks in West Africa?

Protocols

Exactly 10 years ago on, August 1, 2018, GRIDCo commenced operations as Ghana’s main transmission utility company, having been carved out of the Volta River Authority, then responsible for both power generation and transmission.

GRIDCo, from day one, tasked itself to serve as the Backbone to Power Delivery in Ghana and into the sub-region. In the same vain we chose as our Corporate Mission: We provide a reliable electricity grid for development. Since then, everything we have done has been to achieve these two objectives.   

In our first decade, we have worked assiduously to modernize the national grid and extend it to emerging load centres across the country. In the process, we have increased the number of HV substations from by 19 and also added about one thousand (1000) circuit kilometres of transmission lines.

In the same period, we worked successfully to eliminate obsolescence within the National Interconnect Transmission System and built a robust, reliable and secure interconnected system with an expanded transmission infrastructure and the addition of high voltage 330 kV transmission lines.

The power system infrastructure has been connected to a state-of the art System Control Centre from which we are able to get a live feed into our network and to improve supply reliability to our customers.  To ensure that GRIDCo remains on top of its responsibilities and as part of internal measures towards Research and Development, we launched in 2014 the Systems Measurands Publisher (SMP) which has largely assisted our staff responsible for operating, maintaining and managing the transmission network to be constantly updated on the state of the National Interconnected Transmission System as well as the demand-supply balance within the electricity supply industry.  Some have described the SMP as the System Control Centre in your pocket as it is provides our engineers and managers visibility of the NITS on mobile phones.

In all the ten years of our operationalization the need to increasingly build on the existing synergies between us and our neighbours and partners have never been lost on us. Therefore, with support from our partners we have enhanced the existing transmission interconnection between Togo and Benin with a 330kV transmission interconnection. To our North, we recently commissioned a new 330/225 kV interconnection with Burkina Faso. GRIDCo views the interconnection with our neighbouring countries with utmost importance as it enhances the stability of the interconnected system and also provides us with an opportunity to realize the objective of interdependence in the sub region as stated by ECOWAS.

Increasingly, we have noticed as we approach the next decade that in spite of our common and unique challenges as players in the Transmission Sector, we share a common vision and a communality of converging interests within the sub-region. 

There is an emerging home-grown engineering services expertise both at the public and private level.  As part of GRIDCo’s strategy, we have set up a GRID Consultancy Unit that is available to provide services to assist existing and emerging power utilities in the sub region to grow and expand their infrastructure. I can foresee other utilities also working to grow such knowledge and support their neighbours within the region.  It is our hope, that through the sharing of knowledge and information, we all shall achieve such high standards in our operations and provide top-of-the-class power delivery service to customers.

We have had challenges with inspection and maintenance of our transmission lines especially in our forest belt. In some cases, this has been exacerbated by the illegal mining activities or what we call the galamsey menace.  We have taken a decision to deploy drone technology to enhance our operations in this regard. We believe this is a safe and cost effective means to overcome the challenges on the field. GRIDCo has already commenced discussions with potential suppliers as part of the process of ensuring that our men and women could use these tools within two years.

GRIDCo, together with our regulators, is working to establish a National Wholesale Electricity Market. As part of this process, GRIDCo and Ghana’s Electricity Oversight Panel (EMOP) shall hold a stakeholder forum to deliberate on the Market Design after which the process will continue with the development of Electricity Market Rules.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, this is our vision into our second decade to enable us live by our Corporate Mission: We provide a reliable electricity grid for development. That is our raison d’etre.  And I think this is the way to go within the region.

I thank you all for your attention.