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Opinions of Monday, 15 March 2021

Columnist: Jonathan Amoako-Baah

Recent power outages

Recent power outages across the country have created considerable
alarm amongst the general public; especially the incident on Sunday, March 7th, 2021, which led to a total power system shutdown (a similar incident occurred in May 2017).

The general sentiment, undoubtedly, is the fear of a return to perennial power
outages, popularly known as “Dumsor” which defined a period in the country in times past.

Let me say this: “Dumsor” is not coming back. Indeed, the nature of the power
system value chain makes that impossible. As a crucial part of the entire value chain, overseeing matters on the transmission aspect of the process, GRIDCo wants to assure the country and all related stakeholders that none of the key participants in the value chain is resting on their oars, in an effort to maintain stability, accessibility, consistency and reliability of power supply at all times.

Issues on the Ground

What happened on Sunday, March 7th, 2021 and as highlighted in subsequent
statements and interviews with the media was a transient fault at 13:46h on a major transmission line between Prestea and Obuasi. This caused overloads on adjacent transmission lines and resulted in the shutdown of the generating plants at Aboadze and Bulk Supply Points from the Western parts of the country through the Ashanti Region.

The hydro units at Akosombo and Kpong remained online but somewhat unstable for over fifteen minutes before eventually tripping at 14:04h. Restoration works by our technical resource team led to eventual normalisation that same day.

Special mention must be made of the efforts of the VRA team at Akosombo Hydro plant, that ensured the quick availability of the first machines online to commence the restoration effort. We also commend the concerted team effort across the value chain - generation, transmission and distribution - which worked relentlessly to fully restore
the system and bring supply back to the entire country.