Powerful lightning likely cause of nationwide blackout

The Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) has begun investigations into the possible cause of a swing that occurred in its transmission system, leading to a nationwide blackout last Wednesday night.

A reported powerful lightning which occurred on the Akosombo-Lome transmission corridor is said to have affected the transmission systems of the company and caused the power outage about 9:40 p.m.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of GRIDCo, Mr William Amuna, the investigations had become necessary to ensure that contingency measures were put in place to avoid a recurrence of the nationwide blackout.

He told the Daily Graphic that although what triggered the swing was not known, officials suspected that severe voltage surges which occurred as a result of the lightning could have caused the system failure.

“Voltage surges are capable of causing damage over an extended period of time. One common example of the damage that can be caused by excessive voltage involves the rapid heating and subsequent cooling of electrical wiring,” Mr Amuna said.

Generating systems

Some power consumers who were still without power as of yesterday took to social and traditional media to talk about a possible rebound of power rationing owing to isolated cases of power outages which had occurred.

Mr Amuna, however, denied the assertions, saying there was no cause for alarm.

He also debunked suggestions that inadequate generating capacity could have caused officials to intentionally tamper with the system, causing the outages.

Similarly, he said, there were no challenges with the generating systems as a result of the swing, adding: “We have enough power available for distribution and all generating plants are also working to capacity.”

Power restored

Mr Amuna said officials had, about 1 a.m. yesterday morning, been able to restore power to some parts of the country, with some other places enjoying power by 6 a.m.

“As of 6 a.m. on Thursday morning, we had been able to restore about 30 per cent of power to Tema and parts of Accra, while engineers worked progressively to restore power to the rest of the country by the close of the day,” he explained.

While apologising to consumers for the inconvenience the abrupt outage had caused them, he appealed to the public to bear with the company as it strived to address the challenges within the country’s power sector.

ECG

The Public Relations Manager of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Mr Dan Adjei-Larbi, also told the Daily Graphic that the company had, as of 1 p.m. yesterday, hooked 90 per cent of its customers back onto the national grid.

He said ECG officials were waiting for GRIDCo to fully complete work on the system restoration, so they could restore power to the rest of customers.

He tasked customers who could still be without power after the restoration of power to endeavour to contact the complaints unit of the ECG or any of its call centres for assistance.

“In the event GRIDCo is able to restore the system by close of day and customers are still without light, it could be due to localised faults that would require ECG technicians to investigate and address,” Mr Adjei-Larbi said.

 

 

 

Source: Graphic.com.gh

The Republic News Online

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