Solar Policy Conceptual rendering of 155MW Nzema solar power plant in Ghana.

Published on December 6th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan

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Africa’s Largest Solar Power Plant To Be In Ghana

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December 6th, 2012 by Zachary Shahan
 

155 MW is big. That’s a huge power plant. And that’s the size of the power plant planned for construction in Ghana. It will be the largest solar power plant in Africa when completed, which should be in October 2015. It will also be one of the largest in the world.

Conceptual rendering of 155MW Nzema solar power plant in Ghana.

The UK’s Blue Energy is the company behind this behemoth of a solar power plant. It has projected that the project will create hundreds of jobs in Ghana (200 permanent jobs and 500 jobs at the height of construction). Additionally, it should boost Ghana’s electricity capacity by 6%.

A Blue Energy solar power plant near Swindon (UK), which may become the first community-owned solar farm in the UK. (Photo Credit: adrian arbib / Alamy/Alamy)

“Construction on the Nzema project is due to begin near the village of Aiwiaso in western Ghana by the end of 2013, with the installation of some 630,000 PV modules,” the UK’s Guardian writes.

“The power plant, which at the time of planning would be the fourth biggest of its kind in the world, will be the first major scheme to claim payments from Ghana’s feed-in tariff incentive scheme, created by the government in 2011. Ghana has a target of increasing renewable energy capacity from its current 1% of the country’s energy mix to 10% by 2020.”

“Ghana’s forward-thinking strategy puts it in a strong position to lead the renewable energy revolution in sub-Saharan Africa,” Chris Dean, chief executive of Blue Energy, said. “Nzema is a case study in how governments can unlock the huge potential for solar energy in Africa. We are delighted that it will make a strong contribution to the national economy, provide much needed generating capacity and help develop the skills of the future.”

It’s good to see that the African leader is turning to renewable energy already. As I’ve noted many times, solar is a clear leapfrogging technology that will allow developing countries to bypass dirty energy options such as coal and natural gas. Notably, the average CO2 emissions of a Ghanian is only 0.4 tonnes at the moment, compared to 8.5 tonnes for the average Brit and 17.2 tonnes for the average American (based on 2009 figures).

Blue Energy created subsidiary Mere Power Nzema Ltd. to complete the project. Development of the project began back in 2010. The company has not yet determined the source of the solar modules, but intends to have a competitive process for determining that in the coming months. “The project is currently expecting to use a single supplier,” Mere Power Nzema project director Douglas Coleman says.

Coleman adds: “The location was chosen for three reasons. One is stable irradiation levels, which are very good in the region generally. The stability of the network which is adjacent to the project, 30 meters away, with sufficient capacity available in the network to allow us to inject the load. And finally close proximity to the deep water port of Takoradi, in the west of Ghana, given that the majority of components will be imported, because there is very little domestic manufacture or the components that we’ll need.”

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • Akapelwa Akapelwa

    I have read your story on Ghana and the new solar power plant. I would like to comment and bring to your attention that we at African Solar Power Corporation in Zambia are planning on building a 1,000MW CPV-Solar Power Generation Plant for the country of Botswana to supply Botswana and the SAPP Regional Member Entity’s within the SADC Region of Southern Africa. The said project is dubbed the 1,000MW Dumela CPV-Solar Power Pl;ant Project of which we are to partner with CSDR Int of USA as the EPC Providers.

    We are considering to provide for an excess of 4,000MW over a period of 10 years once we have had our initial project successfully set-up and undertaken in the region and Botswana in particular to be established as the Power-Hub of Southern Africa.

    The said project is to cost US$2 Billion in total to implement, making it the most single biggest CPV-solar power project in Africa and probably the world over.

    Mr. Akapelwa
    Executive Chairman-Afrisolar Power, Zambia

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Could you tweet me a link to something about this?

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