8 January 2009 – Ghana’s Volta River Authority (VRA) have signed a 5 year contract with an international company which will see the implementation of smart grid technology over VRA’s 11kV distribution network.

The signing of the contract comes after the successful implementation of a pilot project in June 2008.  According to VRA, the pilot exceeded their expectations and thus the decision was taken to implement the solution across the entire distribution network.  Phase 1 of the project provides services to the following areas: Akosombo (population 15,000), Sunyani (population 80,000), and Tamale (population 305,000), the capital of the Northern region of Ghana.

The grid contract was signed by VRA with BPL Global Ltd and BPL Africa and will include the following solution deployments according to a press statement released by BPL:  BPLG’s Power SG(R) 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.

According to Dieudonne Bakarani, BPL Africa president, "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. BPL Global’s Power SG(R) solutions have successfully proven in deployments that important savings can be achieved with smart grid solutions that improve efficiency and reliability of energy distribution. We are very pleased through our partnership with BPLG to be able to deploy smart grid solutions that will greatly benefit quality of life and economic expansion in Ghana."

"In building a modern grid, VRA is establishing themselves as a leader and innovator in electrical network technology. BPL Global’s integrated demand management solution alone can proactively manage the load curve to optimize electricity supply and demand," said Pascal Julienne, President Executive Director of BPL Global EMEA. "Demand management and efficiency solutions are one of the most valuable investments a utility can make. As an alternative to building new generation, demand management can be deployed for about 1/3 of the investment."

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