History of Electricity Provision in Ghana

Meanwhile, the Public Works Department had commenced a limited Direct Current (DC) supply in Accra in the year 1922, and was immediately followed by a large Alternating Current (AC) project which commenced on 1st November, 1924.

A small plant consisting of three horizontal single cylinder oil-powered engines was installed in Koforidua in 1925, and inaugurated by the Honorable William Omsby-Gore on 1st April 1926. Also, in 1926, work commenced on the task to provide electric lighting and power to Kumasi. A restricted evening supply commenced in May 1927, and the Power Station was brought into full operation on 1st October 1927.

In the same year, DC supply was installed at Winneba but this was subsequently changed to AC by extending an existing supply from Swedru. During the period 1929-30, a limited electricity supply was extended to Tamale until a new AC plant was installed in 1938.

The next Power Station to be established was in Cape Coast, which came into being in 1932. Subsequent to its takeover by the Electricity Department from the Public Works and Railways on 1st April, 1947, a Power Station at Swedru was commissioned in 1948.

This was followed by the installation of generating plants at Oda, Dunkwa and Bolgatanga in 1948. On 27th May, 1949, electricity supply was made available at Nsawam through the building of an 11000-volt overhead transmission line from Accra. The Keta supply which was included in the programmed was delayed by challenges of human resource and was not commissioned until 1955.

The Tema Power Station was commissioned in 1956, with 3x650 kW generating set. The Ho Power Station followed in 1957. Between 1961 and 1964, the Tema Station was extended to a maximum capacity of 35,298 kW, thus, making it probably the biggest single diesel-powered generating station in Africa. It is also on record that in 1963, the Electricity Division brought into operations the first 161,000 volts transmission system in Ghana, which was used to transmit power from the Tema Power Station. At its peak in 1965, about 75 percent of the power was used in Accra.

Test transmission of power from the Volta Dam at Akosombo started on 1st September, 1965. It was during this period that the Electricity Division began receiving supply from the Volta River Authority’s 161,000-volt transmission system.

At present, the Company purchases bulk of its power requirements from the Volta River Authority (VRA), as a major supplier, and other independent Power Produces (IPPs) like Sunon Asogli Thermal Power and AMERI, Karpower, and SENIT Power, for distribution to its customers.

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