Dwindling water levels at Bui Dam threatens power supply in Ghana

Bui_Dam
The 400MW Bui Dam is the second largest hydroelectric generating plant in Ghana after the Akosombo Dam.

Authorities at the Bui Dam have warned a two-meter drop in water levels at Ghana’s third hydro-electric dam will have dire consequences to the already erratic power situation. The 400MW facility is currently adding 90MW to the national grid at peak time.

Since November 2013, it has been supplying 3.66 million kWh/day; about 2.5 times the target rate. However, dwindling water levels means the authority can only do about 1.44million kWh/day. The authorities said they were forced to push the limits of its capabilities to support system demand.

“We have reduced the generation. We only pray for rain”, the Assistant External and Communications Relations Officer with the Bui Power Authority, Mawuli Fui Kwadwovia, said. The African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has also declared a miracle is needed to rescue the Bui Dam from shutting down.

The Minister of Energy Emmanuel Armah Buah concurs that Ghana needs a lot of rains if the country is not to slip into greater darkness. Apparently, Bui Dam’s meager supply of 90MW is in danger and without rains, the Dam commissioned in November 2013 will shut down six months to its second anniversary.

The Bui Dam on the Black Volta River at the Bui Gorge, at the southern end of Bui National Park, is the second largest hydroelectric generating plant in the country after the Akosombo Dam. The project is collaboration between the government of Ghana and Sino Hydro, a Chinese construction company. Construction on the main dam began in December 2009. Its first generator produced power for the grid on May 3, 2013 with completion expected in 2014.

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