Bui Power Authority (BPA) has achieved a significant milestone in optimizing its operational efficiency with the activation of a broadband private network built by Huawei at its generating station in Bui. Implementation of this advanced network marks a major advancement for the hydro-solar hybrid power plant, enabling seamless communication and streamlined operational management, Huawei said in a statement.

With Africa's renewable energy capacity projected to reach 310GW by 2030, Bui Power Authority aims to position itself as a leading force in green energy production in Sub-Saharan Africa. Recognizing the critical role of advanced communication and management systems, Ghanaian Energy Minister Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh emphasized the importance of technology in enabling intelligent energy management, efficient power generation, and reliable power distribution. 

"As Ghana is striding towards achieving universal electricity access by 2025, it is important for us to unleash the transformational power of ICT in optimizing the operations at power plants, increasing the efficiency of renewable energy use, and ensuring a stable and cost-effective electricity supply to many more households nationwide," said the minister.

The successful deployment of Huawei's broadband private network at the Bui generating station represents a significant step forward. Overcoming challenges posed by concrete barriers and complex infrastructure, the network enables seamless communication between the control room and maintenance staff, said Huawei. With comprehensive coverage of indoor and outdoor working areas, including generator rooms, roadways, and employee living spaces, the network ensures uninterrupted voice, video, and data services.

The network's advanced features, such as "push-to-talk" and group calls for voice and video communication, significantly enhance operational efficiency at the power plant. Maintenance tasks can be managed more efficiently, and timely responses to emergencies are facilitated through video calls. Moreover, the deployment of this modern network infrastructure paves the way for future digital advancements, setting the stage for potential intelligent digital transformation at the site.

Ghana's National Energy Plan targets a 10% penetration of renewable energy by 2030, making the integration of solar power generation at the Bui Generating Station a crucial development. Construction of a Solar PV Facility and the commissioning of the first 5MW Floating Solar Plant in the Sub-Saharan region have further augmented the plant's capabilities, contributing to the National Interconnected Transmission System and bolstering the power supply.

Currently, the Bui Generating Station generates 404MW of hydroelectric power, supplemented by an additional 50MW from solar installations. This significant renewable power output accounts for approximately 6-7% of Ghana's total electricity generation, resulting in a substantial reduction of over 47,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Beyond power generation, the reservoir created by the Bui Generating Station also supports other socioeconomic activities. It facilitates fishing activities and irrigation of over 30,000 hectares of land, fostering agricultural growth and benefiting local communities through increased crop production, including maize, cashew, and sugar cane. In line with this, the BPA has partnered with strategic private investors to establish a cashew processing plant and sugar mill within the Bui vicinity, further contributing to local employment opportunities and the overall development of the region.

Aerial view of the Bui generating station. Courtesy of Bui Power Authority