The water level in the Akosombo hydro plant is gradually picking up. Water from the upper parts and middle belts of the country keep trickling into the dam giving a positive outlook for the dam in recent times.
Per the rate of the inflow, the water level is expected to hit its maximum of 278 feet in few weeks, managers of the dam have said.
As at yesterday, the water level in the dam was 251.76 feet, 11 feet above the minimum operating level.
As a result, four out of the six turbines of the facility are operational, contributing 680 megawatts of power to the national grid at off- peak hours, and five turbines during peak hours depending on the demand in the system.
Mrs. Getrude N. Koomson, Corporate Communications Manager at the Volta River Authority (VRA) speaking in an interview with The Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday, said the development was encouraging and painted a brighter picture for power generation from that facility in the coming months.
The dam in recent months, had operated below the minimum level of 240 feet, forcing it to operate three turbines for many months as a result of the low water level.
But Mrs. Koomson said unlike in the recent past where the managers had to decide on daily basis how many turbines were brought on stream, the plant was at a firm operating state with the four turbines guaranteed to operate.
“The lake level hasn’t reached the maximum yet so we are still managing the reservoir and it will not be prudent to run all the turbines,” she noted revealing that one of the six units was undergoing annual maintenance with the other turbines to follow subsequently.
She said though the VRA’s facilities across the country have the capacity to generate enough power to meet the demands, the challenge had been availability of gas in the case of thermal plants and dwindling water levels in the case of the Akosombo dam.
“If you look at the frequency of outages, one can safely say that we have enough generation in the system that meets the demand,” she said stressing that the authority would continue to ensure it produced enough to serve the needs of its clients.
With installed capacity of about 2300 megawatts, the authority, Mrs. Koomson said was generating about 1800 megawatts to augment the effort of the other power generating firms in the country.
In this vein, Mrs. Koomson said work was being intensified on the Akuse retrofit adding that plans were far advanced to diversify the VRA’s power generation front with wind and coal plants in the Volta, Greater Accra and Central regions.
According to Mrs. Koomson, the VRA was going through environmental clearance from other stakeholders to ensure it met the standards and requirements in order for it to carry out an efficient social impact assessment before they were rolled out.
Unable to say whether or not Ghana was out of the debilitating power crisis that engulfed it in the last four years, Mrs. Koomson was optimistic that the stability that had been seen on the power front could be sustained.
She advised the citizenry to conserve energy.
By Julius Yao Petetsi