President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has inaugurated a 13 megawatts (MW) solar power project valued at €20million at Kaleo in the Nadowli-Kaleo District of the Upper West Region, a development that is expected to enhance the supply of energy in the area.
The project, funded by the German Development Bank – KfW – aims at increasing the Volta River Authority’s (VRA) generation capacity through renewable energy generation, improving the quality of power supply in the region, and reducing the national carbon emissions by displacing energy, that is gas-fired thermal plants.
Speaking during the ceremony, the President stated that the project would enable the residents of the area to access power for domestic and commercial activities.
He added that work has begun in earnest on the second phase of the project, which will see another 15 MW plant constructed in Kaleo in addition to the current facility.
“I am happy to announce that even though we are commissioning this project, there is the construction of another 15 MW plant which has already begun, and funding has been dully secured from our partners. We expect in less than a year from now, the contractors will complete that as well, and we should all gather to witness another historic milestone,” President Akufo Addo said
The project also comprises a fully-equipped control room, medium voltage switchgear for the evacuation of power, and a sub-station, containerised substation and PV panels, inverters and transformers.
On his part, Board Chairman of VRA, Kofi Tutu Agyare, said the facility has the potential to be used for practical studies on solar power operation by the technical universities in the northern part of the country.
“We wish to assure citizens of the Upper West Region that they will enjoy improved power supply in the region,” he said.
He recalled that the Government of Ghana enacted the Renewable Energy Act, Act 832, in 2011, which provided the legal framework for deploying renewable energy plants in Ghana, adding that the VRA also developed a Renewable Energy Development Programme (REDP) in 2011 to assist in achieving the government’s Renewable Energy (RE) policy objective, and to meet the demand from its customers for renewable energy.
The Paramount Chief of the Issa Traditional Area, Naa Yelekuang Bawiele, commended government for the initiative, saying it will bring about development in the area.
He used the opportunity to appeal for an administration block for the Issa Technical Institute as the school currently has no administration block. He also sought the state’s help in upgrading the Daffiama and Kojokpari health centres to polyclinics, as well as facilitating the completion and commissioning of the Bussie Technical School with a National Health Insurance office complex.
The first plant built under the REDP was a 2.5 MW solar plant in Navrongo in the Upper East Region; the second, a 6.5 MW plant at Lawra; with the 13 MW Kaleo plant being the third.