President inaugurates phase 1 of Kaleo Solar Power Plant

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday inaugurated the first phase of the Solar Power Plant Project at Kaleo in the Upper West Region with an installed capacity of 13Mega Watts of power (MWp).

The €20.51 million project, installed by the Elecnor SA from Spain with consultancy from Tracteble Engineering from Germany, was funded by the German Development Bank (KfW).

Inaugurating the Project, President Akufo-Addo said the timely completion of the project reiterated government’s commitment to diversifying the country’s entire generation portfolio and increasing the nation’s renewable energy net.

“The project along with ongoing interventions in areas of energy efficiency, use of natural gas for thermal generation, adoption of cleaner cooking solution, de-carbonisation of oil production, among others is helping us accelerate the attainment of our nationally determined contributions (NDCs) as presented at the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) in the United Kingdom” he said.

He said his government had invested heavily in the electricity transmission network to enable them evacuate more renewable energy through the national grid to support the extension of electricity to all parts of Ghana.

He explained that the completion of the plant was consistent with the NDCs of the country to reducing the effects of climate change.

“This increase in power generation in the Upper West Region is evident that the region’s industrial, social and economic take off can now accelerate so that industries and facilities which hitherto were not established in the region due to the absence of affordable and reliable energy supply can now be assured with enough energy capacity to meet their industrial leisure and domestic needs”, he said.

He announced that the construction of the 15mw plant had begun and funding had duly been secured from the German Development Bank (KfW) and was expected to be completed by mid-2023.

“The benefits of renewable energy in our part of the world are immeasurable; in addition to the preservation of the environment, the availability of sun throughout the year at no extra chargereduces the recurrent financial burden in delivering electricity in our nation and also serves as an asset for poverty eradication as well as a catalyst for socio-economic development,” he noted.

As part of its benefits, the President trumpeted that the project would be a destination for educational field trips and contribute to the promotion of science education, engineering and technology development in the region as well as help broaden the career outlook of young people.

President Akufo-Addo used the opportunity to call on international partners seeking to work for the development of the nation to consider partnership with the Volta River Authority (VRA), a partner in the installation with the VRA to produce more of such projects.

The German Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Daniel Krull, used the opportunity to call on independent power producers to experiment with providing similar projects, as the Kaleo Plant had demonstrated the technical feasibility and economic viability of such projects in the north.

He lauded the timely delivery of the project which was expected to reduce carbon emissions by over 3,400 tonnes annually and said the project was evident that the German-Ghana cooperation was viable.

FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA

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