Construction is due to start in the first quarter of 2014 on a 155MW PV project in Ghana, said to be Africa's largest PV power plant to date.
Nzema, in Ghana’s Western Region, will also be the country’s first grid-connected solar farm.
Blue Energy has received all necessary permits to go ahead with the project while Ghana’s electricity regulators, the Energy Commission and the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission, have awarded the project a generation licence and a feed-in tariff for the plant’s 20-year operational life.
The Nzema plant will be constructed by Blue Energy’s subsidiary Mere Power Nzema on a 183-hectare site. The company has secured a 100-year lease on the site. When complete, the plant will be directly connected to the 161kV West African Power Pool transmission line, which runs alongside the site, linking Ghana to Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin and Nigeria.
The company is currently in negotiations with two potential EPC providers and has not yet selected the equipment suppliers. The plant will be equipped with around 630,000 polycrystalline 245w PV modules which will help to generate an estimated annual output of 240GWh.
Blue Energy will now conclude discussions with a number of international financial institutions and global equity and infrastructure funds, which have expressed interest in providing debt financing or investing in the project. It expects to reach financial close in the first half of 2013.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2013 and sections will come online as they are completed. It is expected to be fully operational by October 2015.