The Bui Power Authority (BPA) has been given ministerial approval to actively pursue renewable energy to complement government’s efforts in achieving 10 per cent of renewables mix in the country by 2030.
Mr Fred Oware, the Chief Executive Officer of BPA, said the Ministry of Energy gave the Authority the mandate in 2015 to develop renewable energy plants in line with the Government’s drive to increase the portion of Renewable Energy into Ghana’s Energy mix.
“At this material moment, we have private partners who are ready and have obtained their siting permits as well as provisional licenses as energy generators, and we would be moving to the field any moment from now to start the actual implementation process,” he added.
At the closing ceremony of a two-day training for journalists on the operations of the Authority and its future prospects in Accra, Mr Oware said: ”We do believed that next year, we would have solar energy on the national grid and this is something that we should be very proud of…”
“Our engineers are also still on the field conducting studies to make sure that there are areas, which can be earmarked for wind energy generation. We are already in partnership with a couple of institutions who have pledged and taken steps to ensure that we get the turbines next year to go into energy generation by wind.”
Mr Oware, therefore, assured the public that the Authority would continue to work and make sure the country benefitted from its operations, especially the new communities.
“As you are aware, there were some people who were affected by the project and we built some communities for them, we will continue to take care of the environment and make sure we provide them with alternative livelihood programmes, which we have been pursuing and will continue until great majority of the people become financially independent of us.”
On the operations of the Bui Project, he said it had been a very successful one contrary to some negative perception by some people.
“We have never had a shutdown, and nothing like breakdown of any of our equipment for the past five years and we continue to generate electricity,” he said.
“We have been very useful at peak periods as well as anytime there has been any shutdown to any of the other plants, we’ve been called in to make good whatever is being lost within the system, this we shall continue to do.”
Mr Oware said their core mandate was to produce power at peak consumption periods and serve as a source of reactive power for stability in the National Interconnected Transmission System (NITS).
“In essence, the benefits from the plant are to provide peaking power and, thereby, reduce incidents of load shedding, and the enhancement of system voltage regulation. The commissioning of the project has also brought about the reinforcement of the NITS in the northern sector of the country.”
He noted that for the past three months they had been very active in generating power because the rains had favoured them with a good enough water in the reservoir and, on average, they gave out about five megawatts of energy every day.
Mr Oware said all the four plants (three bigger ones and a small one) are in operation and had the capacity to produce 404MW of energy.
Mr Peter Acheampong, an Engineer in-Charge of Renewable Energy Operations, said the Bui Generating System (BGS) is strategically located to assist in power generation by stabilising generation within the northern part of Ghana.
He said the BPA intended to exploit the opportunity that existed for technical complementation between hydro-generation at BGS, and proposed solar PV plants to be developed by the Authority and prospective developers within the Bui Enclave and other potential sites.
He said BPA, since the mandate, had successfully awarded contracts for the development of two 50MWp PV project within the Bui Enclave and was in the process of awarding another 10MWp under an EPCF contract arrangement.
The Bui Power Authority was established by the Bui Power Authority Act, 2007 (Act 740) to plan, execute and manage the Bui Hydroelectric Project. The completion of the Project in 2013 has provided additional 400MW of installed capacity with average annual generation of 969GWh/yr.