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Dumsor: Ghana losing US$2.5 billion due to underuse of capacitor banks – Expert

Gridco Photo 2.jpeg GRIDCo says the current outages are as a result of transmission challenges

Tue, 13 Apr 2021 Source:

Executive Director for the Africa Center for Energy Policy, ACEP, has disclosed that Ghana is currently losing US$2.5 billion as a result of the failure of government to fully utilize capacitor banks amid the current power crisis.

According to Benjamin Boakye who was speaking on Citi FM’s Point of View program on Monday evening monitored by GhanaWeb, aside the financial savings that government could make, there was also an element of power that could be saved with full utilization of capacitor banks.

“The capacitor bank regulates (that) voltage to ensure that when the demand is rising, it is producing enough power... it provides the needed voltage when people turn on their equipment.

“You realize that of the available installed capacitor banks, government’s own records show that only 28% was functional,” he stressed that if government were to improve it to about 70% they will be able to save 35MW of power and at 90%, 38MW of power will be saved.

"What that means simply is that by not having those capacitor banks functional, we are losing about 2.5 million dollars of revenue every single month,” adding that according to current prices, a new capacitor bank on the market costs around US$10 million.

The capacitor banks essentially are system infrastructure that allows an operator to regulate electrical voltage because people are plugging into the electricity system and operators are not able to know who is coming on to use what.

Ghana’s current energy crisis has been diagnosed as a case of transmission challenges, unlike the generation hurdles that triggered the infamous power rationing of 2011 – 2016 thereabout.

Government has been under fire for failing to avert what analysts say was a looming crisis whiles the economic impact continues to affect especially small and medium enterprises.

The Ghana Grid Company Limited has given a September deadline to end the planned outages with the Electricity Company of Ghana attracting public ire for demanding more tariffs, a move that has been rejected by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission.

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