This feasibility study marks the beginning of a project which will bring about a more affordable power generation and a more resilient, diversified energy supply to Ghana.
The project will be developed by BioTherm Energy, and the study will be performed by the US firm WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff of New York.
Delivering his remarks before signing the contract with Andre Dippenaar, the Chief Financial Officer of BioTherm Energy (Pty) Ltd, Mr. Robert P.Jackson, the US Ambassador to Ghana said, the feasibility study will provide a first-in-class technical and environmental analysis for a 20 megawatt solar photovoltaic project to be built in Buipe, in the Northern Region.
Mr. Jackson said that the project represents Ghana’s very first competitively bid energy tender and the competitive procurement of energy can significantly lower energy costs for Ghanaians.
“BioTherm Energy won this competitive tender with a cost for energy far below Ghana’s expected solar feed-in-tariff, and far below most energy provided here in Ghana. The project smartly uses one of Ghana’s most abundant, God-given resources- the sun,” he added.
In addition to supporting a Ghanaian company and jobs, the solar project also has a US export potential of up to $17.4 million in PV modules, inverters, rack and engineering services.
Although Ghana has one of the highest rates of electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana still faces high energy prices and, despite having strong solar potential, has yet to fully utilize this abundant, affordable renewable energy source.
The proposed study will provide first class technical, environmental and social analysis amongst other things, ensuring the solar project meets world-class standards.
Andre Dippenaar, the Chief Financial Officer of BioTherm Energy (Pty) Ltd, said the Northern Region of Ghana was selected for the project because of its high solar radiation.
Boakye Agyarko, the Minister for Energy in his remarks touched on the numerous importance of solar energy and noted that the objective of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), government is to put the light on and keep transportation running.
“We hope to move all government facilities to solar by the end of this administration to save the country a tremendous amount of money.”
By Pamela Ofori-Boateng