The Bui Power Authority (BPA) has commissioned 26 megawatts (MW) of solar photo voltait (PV) resources to augment its 404MW hydroelectric generating station.
The coming on stream of the 26MW floating solar PV is the beginning of the Bui hydro-solar hybrid production. It is the country’s first ever hybrid plant which utilizes both solar and hydro resources to generate and supply power to the national interconnected transmission system (NITS).
The 26MV solar PV represents a proportion of the 50MW first phase. When completed, the totality of the BPA solar PV project would be 250MW. The US$48 million project is a collaborative initiative of the BPA and Meinergy of China.
This is in line with government’s effort to increase the contribution of renewable energy (solar and wind) in the country’s energy mix to 10 percent by 2030 as well as the national Determined Contribution (NDC) towards the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).
Construction works on the phase one-made up 50MW solar PV farm, a control room, and transmission system at the Bui Generating Station started in October 2019. This was preceded by the expansion of the Bui Switchyard in 2017 by the BPA to accommodate the evacuation of the expected 250MW of power.
A control building has been constructed to accommodate up to 100MW (scalable) of solar PV power. The building utilizes a state-of-the-art Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to manager the operations of the solar PV facility. Besides, a 5km transmission system has been constructed to the Bui Switchyard for the evacuation of power to the NITS.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Yaw Osafo-Marfo, Senior Minister who deputized for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the Bui Solar PV project reiterates the country’s resolve to diversify its energy generation portfolio by growing the renewable energy component.
“It is instructive to note that we are well on our way to achieving this feat, and perhaps earlier than expected. With Bui Power Authority’s significant addition of 250MW, VRA’s 100MW and the other small solar and hydro projects, I can assure you that Ghana will attain the 10% Renewable Energy target by 2030,” he said.
The Senior Minister observed that the prevailing ‘technical and cost environment’ makes it possible to encourage large-scale development of solar plants in the country, thus BPA taken the lead in that direction. It is against this backdrop that government “has passed the Amendment Bill to the Bui Power Authority Act, ACT 740 of 2007, to incorporate two clauses that will ensure the Authority undertakes more renewable energy responsibilities and endeavours,” he added.
Other benefits of the projects:
It will provide electricity to about 59,230 households which will contribute to ensuring the availability of stable and cost-effective power. The project will also save the environment of about 4,904 tonnes of carbon emission which is equivalent to saving 73,562 10-year-old tree seedlings.