Load management brouhaha: ECG replies GRIDCo

Load management brouhaha: ECG replies GRIDCo

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has expressed shock at allegations of non-compliance with load management instructions levelled against them by Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo).

GRIDCo in a letter dated March 28, 2024, raised concerns about ECG’s adherence to load management directives from GRIDCo’s System Control Centre (SCC), accusing the power distributor of putting country’s power generation at risk as a result of its lack of compliance.

Against this backdrop, in a letter signed by ECG’s Chief Executive, Ing. Ebenezer Kofi Essienyi emphasised its commitment to cooperate with GRIDCo and maintain operational cohesion within the electricity value chain.

They, however, expressed confusion and concern over the allegations, stating that GRIDCo’s presentation of the situation lacks context and overlooks operational challenges faced by ECG.

According to ECG, “The letter which was received on 3rd April, 2024 portrays that there is no cohesion and cooperation in operational matters between ECG and GRIDCo in maintaining national power system integrity. ECG wants to reiterate that GRIDCo is our partner in the electricity value chain and that we work closely together. This makes the presence and circulation of this letter confounding to ECG.”

They added that the issue primarily revolves around the timing and adequacy of load management requests received from GRIDCo. While ECG acknowledges receiving directives from GRIDCo to drop loads at specific Bulk Supply Points (BSPs), it highlights discrepancies in the timing of these requests and the resulting impact on operational planning.

ECG provided detailed statistics on load management requests received from GRIDCo between January and March 2024, demonstrating instances where requests were received shortly before peak or off-peak periods, limiting ECG’s ability to plan and inform customers adequately.

According to them, despite these challenges, ECG has maintained a high level of compliance with load management requests, particularly in January and February 2024.

“It is a fact that GRIDCO routinely directs ECG’s System Operators to drop load at some of our Bulk Supply Points (BSPs), but the issue has been the inadequacy between the time these requests are received and the time these requests must be effected to sustain the integrity of the power system and also for ECG to inform its customers,” the reply noted.

“It is worthy to note that, between January and March 2024, sixty-four (64No.) requests were received from GRIDCo for load management. Out of this, forty (40No.) were for peak periods (18:00 – 24:00 hrs) and twenty-four (24No.) for off-peak (06:00 – 18:00 hrs) load management,” ECG noted.

According to the letter “Out of the forty (40no.) peak load requests, thirty-five (35No.) (88 percent) of them were received within an hour to the peak period. There were only five (5No) (12percent) instances where ECG received the request within 2-3 hours of the peak period.”

They added that out of the Twenty-Four (24No.) off-peak load requests, three (3No) (13percent) of them were received within 30 minutes to the off-peak period while the remaining Twenty-One (21 No.) (87percent) instances were received far into the off-peak period.

ECG additionally highlighted specific incidents in March 2024, where operational challenges within its network led to a lower compliance rate with GRIDCo’s load management directives.

They also emphasised the need for GRIDCo to provide advance notice of load management requests to enable ECG to plan and execute operations effectively without unduly impacting customers.

The power distributor also reaffirmed its commitment to collaborating with GRIDCo and other stakeholders to ensure the stability of the transmission system, however, ECG reiterated its request for GRIDCo to provide timely and comprehensive notices for load management operations to facilitate effective coordination and minimise disruptions to customers.

“It is noted that, requests from GRIDCo for load management are no longer for emergency operations, but are made on a routine day-to-day basis, becoming an irritation and disturbance to customers,” they said.

ECG assured that they will always cooperate with all relevant stakeholders, including GRIDCo in order not to jeopardise the stability of the transmission system.

“We however wish to reiterate our request that the notice to our System Operators for load management should be received before 3:00pm for peak load and 4am for off-peak load management or to be received 24 hours ahead in each case, as what is happening now is no longer an emergency operation but seemingly a routine daily activity,” the letter

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