Bluebonnet hosts delegation from the Electric Company of Ghana

A delegation of engineers from the Electric Company of Ghana tour Bluebonnet's state-of-the-art control center.

A delegation of engineers from the Electric Company of Ghana tour Bluebonnet’s state-of-the-art control center. Bluebonnet’s Wesley Brinkmeyer demonstrates the co-op’s advanced meter technology.

A group of engineers and technicians from the Electric Company of Ghana visited Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative’s headquarters and toured its state-of-the-art control center this month to learn more about how Bluebonnet deployed and utilizes advanced meter and other smart grid technology.

“Bluebonnet is widely recognized as having one of the most technologically advanced electric grids of any utility in the nation,” said Mark Rose, Bluebonnet’s general manager. “We are pleased and honored to share with the Electric Company of Ghana our experience and what we learned as we deployed technology that enables Bluebonnet to provide reliable power and for our members to know and control their energy use.”

The Electric Company of Ghana, one of country’s two state-owned electric distribution utilities, is in the early stages of investing in smart grid technology, including advanced meters that are capable of two-way communication. It provides power to 2.5 million meters, about 80 percent of Ghana’s customers, with only 2,500 of its large commercial customers served by AMR (automated meter reading) meters, which are read remotely, rather than manually.  It plans to invest $160 million in the next five years to improve its electric grid. ECG provides power to 2.5 million meters,

ECG also visited Austin Energy, San Marcos Utilities, The Electric Reliability Council of Texas and the Public Utility Commission of Texas. The visit was organized by ZPryme, an Austin-based research firm specializing in energy, transportation and mobile technology.

“The delegation from the Electric Company of Ghana was particularly impressed with Bluebonnet and the way it’s using advanced technology to provide reliable power and timely, useful information to its members,” said Jason Rodriguez, ZPryme’s CEO and director of research. “From their visit, ECG learned the important role data, communications and information technology plays once a utility starts to deploy advanced meters. They also learned how this technology extends throughout the entire utility, not just the meter and billing departments, and how it will mutually benefit ECG and its customers. This knowledge will make their technology deployment more efficient and effective, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions.”

Bluebonnet has earned a reputation as one of the most progressive, technologically advanced utilities in the world. The Electric Company of Ghana is the latest foreign utility to visit Bluebonnet to learn about the co-op’s deployment of advanced technology. During the past four years, Bluebonnet has hosted delegations from Australia, Pakistan, Russia and Sudan. Visits have been organized by both private organizations who know about Bluebonnet through their own research and in conjunction with government organizations, including the U.S. State Department.

“What we have done at Bluebonnet can be replicated at any utility in any part of the world, by private or public utilities,” Rose said. “This is why so many international delegations have come to Bluebonnet’s headquarters to learn how we’ve been able to transform our entire electric distribution system through advanced technology.”

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About Will Holford

Have you ever wondered about the future of electric use? Perhaps you’re curious about how some global or national events might impact your power, the environment or your bill? Maybe you’re just interested in what’s going on at Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative. We want to share what we know, and that’s what the Bluebonnet Blog is about. Will Holford, Bluebonnet’s Manager of Public Affairs, is going to write most often for the blog. He’s been with the co-op since 2007, and has worked in communications for more than 14 years. Will enjoys learning about energy – and writing about it. He and other Bluebonnet employees (and occasional guest contributors) will get the conversation going -- about everything from where your power is generated to where it’s used, advances in technology, changes that will affect you, and interesting peeks behind the scenes at the co-op. We welcome your comments, questions and ideas. Email Will at will.holford@bluebonnet.coop.
This entry was posted in About Bluebonnet, Electric Grid, In the News, Smart Grid, Smart Meters and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Bluebonnet hosts delegation from the Electric Company of Ghana

  1. Annie Craven says:

    Thanks for sharing! It’s good to see that other countries are stepping it up a notch and exploring ways to improve their systems. It is smart to share new technologies and teach their successful ways.

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