The Volta River Authority (VRA) is the main generator and supplier of electricity in Ghana.
VRA is the major power generation company, solely owned by the Government of Ghana and established in 1961 by an Act of Parliament. It forms the first arm of the recently restructured electricity generation, transmission and distribution chain in Ghana.
VRA combines hydro, thermal and solar plants to generate electricity for supply to the local and export markets. The local market consists of the Electricity Company of Ghana (61% of market consumption), the mines, and industrial establishments (who purchase electricity directly from VRA) with the export market comprising Communauté Electrique du Benin (CEB) (for the Republics of Togo and Benin) and SONABEL (Burkina Faso).
VRA reaches its customers and neighboring countries through GRIDCo's transmission system. This transmission system covers the entire country and is connected with the national electricity grids of Compagnie Ivoirienne d'Electricité (CIE) of La Cote d'lvoire, (CEB) of Togo and Benin and SONABEL of Burkina Faso. These interconnections now serve as part of the arrangement under the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP).
Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo), a subsidiary of VRA, undertakes the distribution function in northern Ghana covering the Upper East, the Upper West, Northern and Brong Ahafo regions, as well as parts of the Ashanti and Volta Regions. NEDCo was developed as an integral part of a larger scheme, designated the Northern Electrification & System Reinforcement Project (NESRP) to extend the national electricity grid to northern Ghana.
Historically, the Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) in Ghana has been dominated by hydro power, which accounted for all generation until the late 1990s. That situation has now changed and since the end of 2010, Ghana's total installed thermal generating capacity has almost equaled the existing hydro generation capacity.