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The Volta River Authority (VRA), the main electricity supplier in Ghana, has successfully commissioned the Kaleo solar PV power plant in the Nadowli-Kaleo district, Upper West Region. The 13 MWp solar plant is the first phase of a proposed 28 MWp solar facility at Kaleo.
The construction of the solar plant is financed with a €12.39 loan from the German Development Bank (KfW) along with the VRA’s additional funding of €8.12 million. VRA will receive another funding of €15 million from KfW for the development of the second phase of the solar farm which is scheduled to be completed by mid-2023.
Spanish company Elecnor provided the EPC service whereas Germany’s Tractebel Engineering acted as the consultant for the solar project. The output of the new plant is connected with the grid of the state-owned electricity company, GRIDCo, from a 161 kV substation located 15 km away from the facility.
The Kaleo solar plant is developed under VRA’s Renewable Energy Development Program (REDP). Under this initiative, VRA previously developed two solar plants in the towns of Navrongo and Lawra, with capacities of 2.5 MW and 6.5 MW respectively.
The 13 MWp solar plant further expands VRA’s power generation capacity in the country. The electricity company said power purchase agreements have been signed with some of its existing customers including Newmont Ghana Ltd.
The new solar plant is inaugurated by Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo. The President said the solar facility, along with ongoing projects on energy efficiency, cleaner cooking solution, use of natural gas for thermal generation, and decarbonization of oil production is helping the country reach its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) as presented at COP26.
“The project will boost tourism in the Kaleo community and provide a destination for educational and technological excursions in the region. It will help promote the advancement of science education, engineering, and technological activities in the region, and expand the career opportunities of our youth,” commented Akufo-Addo.
The Kaleo PV plant expands Ghana’s renewable power generation capacity while improving the quality of electricity supply in the Upper West Region. VRA also expects the plant will significantly displace carbon emissions that would have been produced by gas-fired thermal power plants.