The committee set up to investigate the last four “systems collapse” that resulted in nationwide power outages is blaming serious shortfalls in the electricity supply as one of the main causes.

The report sighted by Joy News, explains the low energy reserves made the system vulnerable in the event that one of the generation units fails.

The committee sought to ascertain what caused the nationwide blackouts between December last year and March this year.

The fact finding committee set up by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission was to determine the root cause of the total system collapses and make recommendations towards reducing the frequency of such occurrences in future.

It established that the immediate cause of the December 7 total collapse was as a result of an explosion of an oil Circuit Breaker that connected a generation unit at Akosombo to the system.

It established that the breakers have not been changed since 1976. For the blackout that occurred in March this year, it said a partial loss of generation in Cote d’Ivoire caused a tripping of generators at Akosombo.

The committee highlighted the need for enough energy reserves so the failure of a generating unit will not result in the kind of shock that collapses the system.

Whilst that requires increases in the generation capacity which can only happen in the medium to long term, the committee recommended that the various utilities and the Energy Foundation institute put in measures to identify and reduce line losses and waste in the system which should also address the growing demand.

Another way of addressing the challenge in the short term will be the introduction of energy conservation campaigns.

It also recommended amongst others that the ownership of the Akosombo Switch yard should remain with GRIDCo whilst the operation and maintenance are formally contracted out to the Volta River Authority.

It added that ongoing refurbishment of the Akosombo Switch yard would have to be fast-tracked.

The VRA and GRIDCo are also being asked to identify critical equipment which require insurance replacement and provide for them accordingly.

The PURC itself, the committee advises will also need to step up its capacity as a regulator by establishing a long term relationship with a matured regulatory body by way of an MOU to enable technical staff to benefit from prompt consultation and easy access to training avenues.


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