Strategic Security Systems International and the American Engineering Group (AEG) International, on Wednesday signed an agreement for United States Government grant support for feasibility studies towards the building of small-scale solar systems for the Ghana Catholic Church.
The project, which is expected to take off after the feasibility studies, will benefit six out of the 20 dioceses of the church which are Techiman, Greater Accra, Koforidua, Keta-Akatsi, Tamale and Kumasi.
The United States Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie S. Sullivan, in a remark before the signing, explained that the grant was provided by the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) in line with its dual mission of facilitating the development of sustainable infrastructure projects and supporting the use of US equipment and services.
She noted the USTDA, which was part of the US Power Africa team, gave the grant to the Ghanaian company Strategic System International with its subsidiary Strategic Power Solutions to work on how best to transition the six dioceses to solar power.
She added that “ these two companies are teaming up to build small-scale solar power systems that will run on photovoltaic panels assembled here in Ghana and using US manufactured inverters, batteries, and other solar power equipment”.
She expressed joy that the partnership was an excellent example of how companies in Ghana could increase local content and create jobs while engaging in smart international trade and solving issues critical to Ghana’s long-term development such as accessible, reliable, and affordable issues.
Ambassador Sullivan indicated that the first project of the two companies would bring solar power to 310 schools, 28 health facilities, and over 500 other buildings and offices in the six dioceses.
Dr. Francis A. Boateng, Chairman of Strategic Security Systems International, said solar energy was the way forward for Ghana as the country had abundant sunlight and technology to harness it.
Dr Boateng added that over 1,000 lives would benefit from the partnership both socially and economically.
Mr Tod Skinner, President of AEG International, said after the completion of the feasibility study, funds would be obtained for the actual take off of the provision of the solar energy system for the beneficiary dioceses.
Mr Skinner also reiterated the number of jobs to be created both in Ghana and in the US, therefore calling on all stakeholders to put in their best to ensure its success.
Most Reverend Philip Naameh, Archbishop of Tamale Diocese and President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference, on his part, thanked the companies and appealed to them to extend the project to the remaining 14 dioceses.