First phase of 200MW Ghana PV plan moves ahead

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Authorities in northern Ghana have signed a deal to press ahead with the 40MW first phase of what will eventually be 200MW of solar capacity in the region.

The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) has finalised an agreement with DCH Solargiga, a subsidiary of China’s Solargiga, to build the plant near Tamale, the principal town of Ghana’s Northern Region.

A deal signed in Ghana’s capital Accra last week between the acting chief executive of SADA, Charles Jebuni, and the managing director of DCH Solargiga, Zhang Gang, paves the way for the start of the project.

The US$117 million-dollar project will be situated in Pigu near Tamale, with SADA contributing 10% in equity to the project and DCH Solargiga the remainder. The company is expected to source investment from bodies such as the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.

Upon completion the 40MW project will feed power into Ghana’s national grid, although PV Tech was unable to confirm if it will receive payments under the country’s new feed-in tariff.

This was launched two years ago to support Ghana’s aim of sourcing 10% of its power from renewables by 2020 and has so far attracted applications for over 2GW of capacity, significantly more than the grid can handle.

The project forms part of a bigger joint venture between DCH Solargiga and SADA that will result in up to 200MW of PV capacity in northern Ghana.

When the venture was announced last December, Solargiga chief executive Hsu You Yuan said the company had been forced by trade actions in the US and EU to look for opportunities in new markets.

At the time, he said: “Ghana is a democratic and viable state in Africa with a fast-growing economy. Electricity demand has seen rapid growth in Ghana, and green energy and environmental policies are a core focus of President Mahama.

“We are very pleased to extend our global footprint through tapping into the Ghana market and to develop overseas end markets for our solar products. Facing the imposition of US and EU tariffs and countervailing anti-dumping duties on Chinese PV products, we are devoted to expanding other high growth potential international markets.”

The prospects for solar in Ghana and West Africa more broadly will be explored at Solar & Off-Grid Renewables, a two-day conference hosted by PV Tech publisher Solar Media on 16-17 September in Accra. Further information is available here.

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