Ghana’s Bui Dam solar-hydropower co-generation project has given a huge boost to the country’s efforts to provide universal access to electricity by 2025. The digital transformation also reduces the time required to solve the dam’s technical problems.
The hydroelectric dam has an installed capacity of 404 MW from four generating units, including three 133.33 MW Francis turbine units and a smaller 4 MW turbine. Huawei’s FusionSolar Smart PV solution was selected for the Bui HSH project to provide string inverters and energy storage solutions that ensure stable clean power supply. The solar power system can supplement and maintain the water system of the Bui reservoir even in dry times when the water supply is low and hydropower cannot be used. Huawei’s energy storage system (ESS) balances electricity supply and demand, regulates peak production and smooths out production fluctuations.
The first phase of the project consisted of the development of the solar power plant, control room and 4G Enterprise Long-Term-Evolution (eLTE) technology. The first 50MW solar plant – officially commissioned and connected to Ghana’s National Interconnected Transmission System (NITS) in April 2021 – resulted in a doubling of the country’s grid-connected solar power and is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 47,000 tonnes per year. In addition, the Bui Power Authority (BPA) installed a 5 MW floating solar power plant on its reservoir, the first of its kind in the subdivision. The total solar power of the project is estimated to be 250 MW.
As part of the dam’s digital transformation, Huawei deployed a 1.8GHz total demand distortion (TDD) eLTE broadband solution that utilizes a miniaturized core network, a single base station, multiple radio remote units (RRUs), and an indoor distribution system. This allowed both indoor and outdoor work areas to be covered, including the dam, roads, generator rooms and worker lounges. Engineers can easily communicate in real time, even deep underground, using the “Push to Talk” function. Video calls between engineers and managers have increased productivity and problem-solving efficiency, reducing the time needed to resolve issues in record time.
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Huawei’s ESS utilizes intelligent digital technology to facilitate seamless networking while providing easy maintenance, secure performance, and high-density lithium batteries that optimize space utilization. This solution will further improve the stability, reliability and efficiency of power supply in Ghana’s grid.
Ghana’s national energy plan aims for renewable, clean energy sources to cover 10% of the country’s energy needs by 2030. Huawei’s solution will not only help them on their way to this goal, but will also support the transformation of the Bui hydropower plant into a safe, efficient and intelligent power generation system. In addition, it improves workplace safety, operational efficiency and lays the groundwork for future smart solutions, such as water level detection and flow control. The Bui hydro-solar energy project serves as a model for other projects in the country as well as for countries throughout the African continent.