BPC grapples with surging power demand, looks to a greener future

  • March 15th, 2021 - 1 min, 40 secs read

BPC grapples with surging power demand, looks to a greener future

Botswana Power Corporation(BPC) said it is experiencing an increase in demand for electricity as a result of a corresponding growth in the number of households that connect to the grid.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT: With more than 490 000 households connected to the grid, the country’s power producer said the rapid growth in connection over the past 10 years has led to a network overload  and usage of electricity.

HOW WILL BPC RESOLVE THIS? Chief Executive Officer, David Kgoboko told a virtual media conference today that his power producer is working on improving supply by investing in other sources of energy such as gas and solar. Kgoboko mentioned that BPC will play a facilitatory role in the Independent Power Producer projects such as two envisaged 50-megawatt power station green energy project in Selebi Phikwe and Jwaneng. He further said BPC is exploring the possibility of using gas at its Orapa 90-megawatt power station. The corporation is buoyed by ongoing gas exploration such as by Kalahari Energy and Tlou Energy.

WHAT ELSE DID KGOBOKO SAY? Kgoboko said his corporation has restored power after an incident which occurred last week which led to a loss of power supply to prepaid vending system. He said subsequent to the loss of power the UPS system automatically kicked in to sustain the running of the vending system.

“Unfortunately, our system does not have an alarm to provide an early warning to our operations when it goes into UPS mode,” Kgoboko said.

He said the BPC technicians took long to reconfigure the system following the abrupt system shutdown that occurred after the UPS could no longer hold.

The power utility company also said it is investigating an incident after experiencing a grid disturbance that resulted in a total blackout of the whole country last week. The blackout, which lasted for about two hours, was triggered by a switchgear failure at Selebi Phikwe sub-station which is a major supply points providing grid connection to Eskom in South Africa and ZESA in Zimbabwe.




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