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Business News of Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Source: Daily Graphic

VRA completes first solar plant in Navrongo

The Volta River Authority (VRA) is about to inaugurate its first solar power plant at Navrongo in the Upper East Region as part of its corporate policy to develop renewable energy resources to augment its power generation.

The Navrongo Solar Power Plant is a 2MW facility, the largest grid PV plant in West Africa apart from those in Cape Verde. The plant will ultimately be expanded to 2.5 MW.

Built at a cost of US$8,082,025 million, the Navrongo solar plant fits into the long term strategic policy of the VRA to diversify into renewable power generation in an efficient, cost effective and environmentally sustainable manner.

A top official of the VRA told the Daily Graphic that in support of this policy the authority had since 2010 set in motion various measures.

These include the setting up of five-year renewable capacity project project, deployment of renewable plants at both the national and mini-grid (Isolated) systems based on local need, resource availability and cost effectiveness.

The authority has established a mix of renewable portfolio- wind, mini hydro, solar- in various locations within the country the country covering renewable resources in those locations.

Also, consistent with this policy, the VRA has set as a target, the development of about 160 MW of installed renewable energy capacity systems over a five year period (2010-2015).

At the end of the period, the VRA is expected to generate 150 MW from wind power and 14MW from solar energy.

There are feasibility studies for small hydro plants by tapping into available water resources.

“ Ghana needs energy that is secure, reliable, sustainable, improved public health , protects the environment addresses climate change and provides technological leadership”, the official emphasized.

Speaking on Ghana Television’s Breakfast show programme last Tuesday, the Chief Executive Officer of the VRA, Mr Kwaku Awotwi, said in addition to the Pungu site, three other sites had been identified and acquired in the Upper West Region for the construction of the next phase of 12MW PV plants to complement power generation.

He stressed that funding had already been secured and work would start later this year.