The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has commissioned the Volta River Authority’s thirteen megawatt (13MW) Solar Power Project, a project whose sod he cut in February 2020.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the Project, which is the first phase of what will, eventually, be a twenty-eight-megawatt (28MW) plant at Kaleo, and reiterates Government’s commitment to diversify further the country’s energy generation portfolio, and increasing the nation’s renewable energy generation mix.
Speaking at the ceremony in Kaleo, in the Upper West Region, the President indicated that the Kaleo Solar Plant, along with on-going interventions in the area of energy efficiency, use of natural gas for thermal generation, adoption of cleaner cooking solutions, decarbonisation of oil production, amongst others, is helping Ghana accelerate the attainment of her Nationally Determined Contributions, as presented at COP26 in Glasgow, in the United Kingdom.
“The Akufo-Addo Government has invested heavily in the electricity transmission network, which will enable us evacuate more renewable energy through the national grid, to support the extension of electricity to all parts of Ghana. For this reason, Kaleo has a dedicated transmission line that evacuates power from the current and future solar capacity at Kaleo to the GRIDCo substation at Wa,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “At peak sun hours, the Kaleo and Lawra plants can meet the entire load at Wa and its environs. This can make Wa the greenest city in Ghana. The completion of the Kaleo Solar Power Plant is consistent with Ghana’s Nationally Determined Contributions to addressing the effects of climate change.”
Since 1961, when the nation started commercial production of electricity, almost all the generation assets, with the exception of the Bui Hydro power plant, have been located in the middle and southern parts of the country.
To this end, the President intimated that Government has taken it upon itself, “as part of our development trajectory, to bring some of these sources closer to the North, thereby opening up additional opportunities in our regional development journey”.
The Volta River Authority, he said, has been one of our main vehicles for improving access to electricity and related developments, particularly in the northern parts of the country.
“It completed the first solar plant of 2.5 megawatts in Navrongo way back in 2013. Under this Government, we have successfully completed a 6.5 megawatts solar plant in Lawra, which I personally commissioned. Today, we are here signing-off on this thirteen-megawatt (13MW) addition,” he said
President Akufo-Addo also revealed to the gathering that the construction of another fifteen-megawatt (15MW) plant has already begun, and funding has been duly secured from the German Development Bank (KFW), and is expected to be completed within one year.
In addition to the Kaleo Project providing several benefits, including, increasing the geographic spread of power generation assets; improving the resilience of the national power system; stabilising voltage levels and reliability of power supply in the Upper West Region; and, ultimately, reducing the nation’s carbon footprint, the President stated that the construction of the new 15MW plant is employing some one hundred and thirty (130) people during the construction phase.
“I am glad to note that most of the workers used for some ninety-five percent (95%) of the construction and operational phase are from the nearby communities. The project will serve as a tourism boost for the Kaleo community, and as a destination for educational and technological field trips in the Region. It will contribute to promoting the advancement of science education, engineering and technological activities in this area, and broaden the career outlook of our young people,” he added.
With this project in the community, President Akufo-Addo was expectant that “corporate social responsibility programmes for Kaleo and neighbouring communities will be enhanced by the appropriate authorities in many forms, including, but not limited to, the rehabilitation of the Kaleo D/A Primary School and the provision of furniture and other critical amenities for the school.”