Ghana To Set Up Africa’s Largest Solar Farm
In a move to not only, boost energy to power industries, but also to cut down on carbon emissions. Ghana is set to install the largest solar farm in Africa and the fourth largest solar farm in the world, as at the time of planning of the project. When fully installed and up and running, the Nzema Project, as it is called. Will provide 200 permanent jobs, 500 jobs during the time of construction and boost electricity supply in the country by 6 percent.
Blue Energy is the developer behind the installation of the renewable energy resource at a price tag of $400 m. The company has built other another solar farm 31 times smaller, located outside of Swindon in South West England. The Ghanaian Nzema Project will kick off by the end of 2015, and it will be installed near the Aiwiaso village in Western Ghana. The farm will have 630,000 photovoltaic (PV) modules.
The renewable power plant will become the first initiative to gain from Ghana’s feed-in tariff incentive scheme that was created by the government back in 2011. Ghana has set out a goal of having renewable energy account for 10% of the country’s power supply; up from the current 1%.
“Ghana’s forward-thinking strategy puts it in a strong position to lead the renewable energy revolution in sub-Saharan Africa. 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.”
According to the project’s director at Blue Energy, Douglas Coleman as cited by the Guardian. The Company is using solar PV in place of the distinctive ‘troughs’ that are being used to concentrate solar energy technology. Such as those in use in North African and the Middle East, because PV only requires some light and not direct sunlight. This technology will better serve Ghana to produce an optimum level of solar energy even during the over 100 cloudy days the country experiences every year.
The Nzema Project comes at the backdrop of Ghana recording the fastest economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa in 2014. The Western African country recorded a GDP growth rate of 14.3% mainly attributed to oil production. The country is also a giant exporter of world’s cocoa supply.