VRA to diversify energy generation

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Electrical substation

The Volta River Authority (VRA) has stated its resolve to diversify its energy generating investment portfolio to solar, wind and biomass to remain competitive in the market.

The Authority said innovation and digitisation would facilitate the integration of the variable sources and better monitor and maintain its generation assets for improved, stable and reliable power operations.

Mr Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, the Chief Executive of VRA, said this on Monday to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Authority, on the theme: “Celebrating 60 Years in the Power Business: Our Legacy, Our Future.”

He said the VRA would invest in E-mobility, adding that the Authority could be relevant by developing employees with new skill sets to be nimble and tech-savvy.

“Our focus in the future is to continue to build a force of human capital that is fit for the digital age; a knowledgeable work force and employees for the next 60 years,” he said.

He noted that the Authority, over the years, had been the main provider of electricity to support the economic development of the country and its neighbours – Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and La Cote d’Ivoire, which he described as a noble achievement.

Mr Antwi-Darkwa said the Authority had commenced the process to convert the Akosombo Township into a Smart City by transforming it into the technology hub of the country.

“We will leverage on the infrastructure and human skill sets that are abundant in the Akosombo area. A roof top solar project at our head office has been completed to serve as a precursor to the establishment of solar parks and rooftop solar facilities in Akosombo, Aboadze and Akuse enclave,” he said.

He said the Authority had embarked on a number of renewable projects to meet the national demand in an environmentally sustainable manner to ensure adequate and competitively-priced electricity to support industrial and social development.

The projects include the 60-megawatts Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam, which has an additional solar component of 50 megawatts.

The Authority is constructing 19.6 megawatts Kaleo/Lawra Solar Plants, while its wind projects at Ada and Anloga are under development.

“We will continue to nurse other potential renewable projects on the Oti River as well as a pipeline of solar projects at Bongo, Walewale and other parts of the country,” Mr Antwi-Darkwa said.

“The Authority commissioned the Kpong Generating Station Retrofit Project in Akuse, aimed at extending the life of the electro-mechanical infrastructure of the power plant. We are confident that the Kpong station can now reliably deliver 30 more years of clean energy.”

He said the overall aim of the Authority was to develop VRA into a public institution, which operated with a private sector interest, stressing that its resolve was to be on a sound operational and financial footing through prudent management practices.

Mr Kwame Agyeman-Budu, the Managing Director of Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), commended VRA for being the leader in the power industry and pledged the ECG’s support for the growth of the Authority.

Mr Jonathan Amoako-Baah, the Managing Director, Ghana Grid Company Limited, said the Authority had become an academic platform for many engineers in and across the country and urged it to be dynamic and be resilient in its operations.

A statement on behalf of Mr Osman Ayuba, the Managing Director, Northern Electricity Distribution Company, urged the Authority’s management to broaden its scope of operations to impact positively on their business fortunes and ensure greater efficiency.