Ghana is to receive some 100 mega watts of power in 2017 to help ease the power challenges confronting the country.
It follows the award of a $704,815 grant by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to Ghanaian solar power developer, Home Energy Africa Limited.
The grant will also offer technical assistance for the generation of the 100-megawatt solar power to feed the national grid. The photovoltaic (PV) project which is near financial closure is situated in the village of Nyimbale-Sankana, in the Upper West Region of Ghana.
USTDA’s partnership with Home Energy Africa also falls in line with the goals of Power Africa, a U.S. government-led initiative to increase electricity access across sub-Saharan Africa. Speaking at the signing ceremony, the US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson cited the inadequate electric power supply as one of Ghana’s paramount constraints to sustainable economic growth.
“Businesses and entrepreneurs need electricity to function, so they can contribute to the broad-based economic growth and development that will lift millions out of poverty. That’s why we have made increasing access to power one of the top priorities for our bilateral relationship,” Ambassador added, “Presently, Ghana has 2,450 megawatts of installed generation capacity.
The government of Ghana aspires to double that capacity to 5,000 megawatts this year, including 10 percent from renewable sources. Through programmes such as Power Africa, the Partnership for Growth, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, we’re cooperating with government, the private sector and others to make Ghana’s future brighter.”
The CEO of Home Energy Africa Charles Sena Ayenu told Citi Business News the project when completed in 2017 is expected to create over 200 permanent jobs for the youth.
“This is a 100 mega watts power project and based on our estimate today we are looking at generating about 200 jobs for this particular project. We are mainly looking at hiring people from those living in the community to work on the site. It will be value addition for the community as the youth will be employed and be part of the project which will help ease the power challenges in the country at the moment.”
The project will also meet Ghana’s goals for clean and sustainable energy, and provide electricity to at least 80,000 average homes in Ghana, the company is looking at debt and equity financing for the $150 million solar project.
Charles Sena Ayenu further noted that the company has already secured 30 per cent equity from a French company, the Erin Group.
The other 70 per cent it says it expects to raise from stock. Home Energy Africa has selected GreenMax Capital Advisors (Brooklyn, N.Y.) to carry out the technical assistance.
This will include preparation for power purchase agreement negotiations, services contracts and financing arrangements.
Implementation of the project will support the Government of Ghana in achieving its target of 5,000 MW of installed generation, including 10 percent from renewable sources.