The Institute for Energy Security wants GRIDCo to explain to the taxpayer and consumer on the cause of the power trip at the Prestea to Obuasi transmission line on Sunday 7th March, 2021 that cascaded into other trips in the system.

The IES will also like to understand the cause for the delay in salvaging the situation that eventually led to the total shutdown, stressing out, “particularly, what operators did between 13:46 GMT and 14:09 GMT, as a way of preventing a total shutdown of the transmission grid”.

In a statement, IES said “It may interest Ghanaians to know that the overload created in the transmission system due to the Prestea to Obuasi transmission line failure, caused some power generating plants to trip, and forcing the others to shut down.”

Furthermore, “It took Asogli’s quick-start technology to restore the grid, and helping others to come online.”

Continuing, the IES said it is concerned with incidents of power plant tripping from transmission system disturbances, because the trip can lead to equipment failure due to the sudden load rejection. Additionally, the thermal shocks to the systems because of load rejection has the effect of reducing the life span of generating units.

While calling for accountability from the GRIDCo, the IES sympathized with the operator, knowing well that cash-flow challenges due to delayed payments of receivables, is having a toll on the operations of the company.

“The IES understands that the main challenge leading to these power cuts has been the poor maintenance and upgrades of the power transmission system owing to GRIDCo’s illiquidity, which continues to render the grid weak and unable to withstand shocks. The poor maintenance regime due to the liquidity challenge of the operator is evident in the increasing levels of transmission losses in recent times.”

The IES therefore called on the government to work to address the cash-flow challenges of GRIDCo, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and other sectoral utilities, to enable them carry out an effective operations and maintenance, to forestall the persistent system failures that continue to undermine service delivery of power utilities.

Until the financial, technical, and commercial issues of the power companies are dealt with, the IES said the Ghanaian cannot be assured of consistent and reliable power supply, even though current plant available capacity exceeds current system peak demand.