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Ghana comissions 20 MW solar park, plans auctions for IPP projects


Ghana comissions 20 MW solar park, plans auctions for IPP projects

The solar plant was built by the local IPP Meinergy Ghana Ltd. Gomoa Onyaadze, in southern Ghana. The country’s president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said that further IPP projects will be operationalized through competitive bidding, and that solar bids will have to be cheaper.

Ghana’s president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo officially inaugurated on Sunday a 20 MW solar power plant in Gomoa Onyaadze, near Winneba, in the Central Region of South Ghana.

According to a press release from the Ghanaian government, the facility, which is the second operational large-scale solar park in the country, was developed by local independent power producer Meinergy Ghana Ltd, utilizing 64,400 solar panels and 400 inverters provided by unnamed manufacturers. More technical and financial details on the project, however, were not provided.

The government did say though: “When we came into office, we inherited a plethora of IPP agreements, all of whom were contracted at the time of our crisis and, therefore, left us in a weak position, and got us accepting tariff rates of 18 cents per kilowatt hour and over. In an area in the world where 10 cents per kilowatt hour is the maximum, we are producing IPP agreements at 18 cents per kilowatt hour.” As a consequence, Dankwa Akufo-Addo said that in the future IPP contracts will be given only after a procurement process, and that the Ministry of Energy and that the state-owned utility Electricity Company of Ghana have now been tasked to define the new procurement scheme.

The country’s first operational solar park is also a 20 MW facility, which was commissioned in April 2016 and was built by Chinese technology company firm Beijing Xiaocheng Company (BXC), a subsidiary of Beijing Fuxing Xiao-Cheng Electronic (FXXCE).

Meanwhile, other large-scale projects are being developed in Ghana, including a 20 MW PV power plant in the area of Tamale, in the north of Ghana, by Italian oil company ENI,  and two utility-scale PV plants totaling 12 MW in the Upper West Region by Ghana’s largest power supplier, the Volta River Authority (VRA).

According to a recent report from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Ghana has currently a total installed capacity of around 4.2 GW, of which 2.62 GW come from thermal power plant, 1.58 GW from hydropower and only 42 MW from solar. The country has one of Africa’s higher access rate to energy – 83% – with a percentage of 91% in urban areas and 50% in rural regions.

Ghana’s National Energy Policy is targeting 10% coverage of electricity production with renewables by 2020. This strategy also includes a program for rooftop PV, the MDA Solar Rooftop Programme, which however has not been launched to date.

Source PV Magazine

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