Ghana Grid Company opts for DNV GL's Cascade utility asset management software

Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) is entering a new phase of digitalization, and will implement the Cascade Solution from DNV GL to build a new Computerized Maintenance Management System to improve preventive and predictive maintenance and optimize operations.

About GRIDCo: In line with the Power Sector Reforms in the Ministry of Energy in Ghana, GRIDCo was incorporated in 2006 but became operational in August 2008 to provide power transmission services in an open and transparent manner. GRIDCo is a private limited liability company wholly-owned by the Government of Ghana. The company was established to develop and promote competition in Ghana’s Wholesale Power Market, by providing non-discriminatory and open access to the transmission grid for all participant in the power market.

Utility asset management

The national grid operator in Ghana signed a contract with DNV GL that will bring in the leading electric utility asset management software for optimization of some 84 substations across the West African country. Primary objective of the project is introducing a centralized database with all the relevant data, accessible at any time, as a foundation for GRIDCo’s journey towards an organization focused on Asset Performance Management.

“Grid quality, integrity and reliability is of the utmost importance for any grid and utility operator,” says Are Føllesdal Tjønn, DNV GL. “We are proud to be awarded this contract by Ghana Grid Company. We will have the opportunity to work together in implementing our solution for grid performance management and best practice that is well proven by leading operators in the US and in Europe,” says Tjønn. The contract is an example of DNV GL’s focus on activity and growth in the African continent.

Close to 84 transmission substations and over 5600 km of transmission lines in tropical climate

As with many countries in the region, significant challenges exist for the collection of data from substations and transmission lines, spread out across a country where infrastructure and communication networks can be erratic. Travel times to substations can be extensive and the tropical climate conditions can cause maintenance challenges. There have recently been outages in Ghana, mostly on the distribution side but the national power transmission grid was also impacted. Cascade, developed specifically for energy utilities, will enable a modernization of technical asset management. Its capabilities in predictive maintenance allow utilities to minimize the risk of failure and increase reliability in the most cost-effective way.

A key GRIDCo goal is to achieve 99.99% reliability on Ghana’s National Transmission System with fully automated, integrated and paperless business processes by 2019.

“GRIDCo required a non-prototyped, standard and design proven software that is tailored for the power transmission industry and is being used by reputable utilities across the world” says Eric Asare, Director, Network Performance Department at GRIDCo. “Cascade was the right fit for our needs,” he says.

Cascade Field Unit

GRIDCo will also implement the Cascade Field Unit that digitizes inspection work processes. One important aspect of the Cascade Field Unit is that inspectors can enter the data offline, and it will automatically update once the laptop or mobile unit is online. Collecting data digitally, with built-in data validation, is a big step in the improvement of data quality and making better informed maintenance decisions. The implementation of Cascade at GRIDCo will start late 2017.

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