VRA signs contract with BPLG to expand electricity network

BPL Global(R), Ltd. (BPLG), a smart grid technology company dedicated to leading the transformation of energy efficiency and reliability, announced Wednesday January 7, 2009 that it has signed a 5-year modern grid contract in partnership with BPL Africa, with Ghana’s national utility, Volta River Authority (VRA).

The agreement implements smart grid technologies and broadband over power line (BPL) communications technology on the 11kV power distribution network of VRA.

Ghana is making a transformational investment in their electrical and communications infrastructure to accelerate economic development. Their modern grid investment allows VRA to significantly increase the productivity of their existing electrical network by delivering additional electricity and communications services.

In July 2008, BPLG and BPL Africa deployed a pilot project for VRA demonstrating a modern grid. VRA declared the pilot project a great success, exceeding their goals for return on investment, improved energy efficiency and service reliability.

Consequently, VRA has decided to deploy the smart grid and BPL solutions across their power 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.

“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,” said Dieudonne Bakarani, President of BPL Africa, who also stated that BPL Africa is presently finalizing plans for smart grid deployments in a number of other sub Saharan countries.

Smart grid solutions to be deployed in Ghana for VRA include: 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.

“In building a modern grid, VRA is establishing itself 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.”

The smart grid system is designed to reduce frequency and duration of outages, improve the balance of supply and demand, and improve operational efficiency. Smart grid technology is ready to have a significant impact improving the efficiency and reliability of energy delivery in Ghana.

“VRA’s focus right now is to make sure that we produce reliable, stable and adequate power,” said Owura Kwaku Sarfo, Chief Executive VRA. “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.”

Source: PR Newswire

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