A total of 32,000 households in the Upper West Region will benefit from the construction of a 17 megawatt solar power project at the cost of 22.8 million Euros by end of 2020.
The project, when completed will not only increase the geographic spread of power generation in the country, but will help the people to avoid the estimated 7,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year, to make Ghana a cleaner place to live in.
President Nana Akufo-Addo said this when he cut sod for the construction of a combined 17 megawatt solar power project at Kaleo and Lawra in the Upper West Region.
The President said the sod cutting reaffirmed the commitment of government to diversify the country’s energy generation portfolio and thereby helped to increase the renewable energy component of the energy mix and contribute to mitigating the effect of climate change.
The solar power plants, which were the first of its kind in the region would serve as impetus for the development of the region and also help reduce the amount of energy from the hydro and other energy sources, thereby reducing the pressure on the national grid.
He said the projects would be operated and maintained by Ghanaians living in these areas and encouraged the youth to stand in preparedness for this great opportunity.
He expressed the hope that the plants would serve as practical demonstration sites for students from various institutions to increase their knowledge in the field of solar energy in order for the region to produce the next generation of solar energy experts.
He urged the Ministries of Finance and Energy to collaborate with the Volta River Authority to bring the project to fruition, adding that “you have no reason to delay the execution of the project”.
He expressed the hope to return in his second term to cut sod for the construction of the second phase of the project.
President Akufo-Addo thanked the government of Germany for providing funding for the project.
The 13 megawatt capacity installed at Kaleo and the four megawatt capacity installed at Lawra are scheduled for completion in December and June 2020 respectively.
Mr John-Peter Amewu, the Minister of Energy said the projects were a perfect complement to the hydro dam at Akosombo and Kpong, saying it would enable the dams to store water during the day so as to supply power to Ghanaians during the evening, where the grid reaches its peak.
He said the Ministry would continue to work with the Volta River Authority to ensure that Ghana built enough capacity in renewable energies to complement the hydro dams and reduce carbon footprints.
Mr Christoph Retzlaff, the German Ambassador to Ghana noted that the establishment of the 17 megawatt solar plant in Kaleo and Lawra marked a milestone of the long-standing and excellent relations between Ghana and Germany and showed the benefit of the Reform and Investment Partnership.
He said the project addressed the challenges of climate change and the need for clean energy, adding that with appropriate policy direction and support, the sector could witness remarkable growth with linked opportunities in manufacturing and job creation.
The Ambassador said as of today, Germany has committed over 170 million Euros for the Energy sector over the years, adding that he was looking forward to seeing more future projects unfold within the partnership.
Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister expressed appreciation to the chiefs and people of the project areas for releasing almost 26 acres of land for the purpose.
He said the siting of the project in the Upper West Region was prudent as there was enough sun energy to enhance the operation of the plant.
By: Peace FM