USTDA provides more than US$860,000 for Ghana solar project

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USTDA, Buipe Solar and WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff representatives at the signing last week. Source: US Trade and Development Agency

The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a grant of more than US$860,000 to Ghanaian solar company Buipe Solar, in support of a feasibility study for a 20MW PV project in the north of the country.

Buipe Solar has selected US firm WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff to conduct the study. South African renewables firm BioTherm Energy will be developing the plant. Altogether, the project represents a US export potential of up to US$17.4 million in PV equipment including modules, inverters, racking and engineering services.

The grant was signed late last week by the US ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson, and Buipe Solar’s director, Andre Dippenaar. This project advances the goals of Power Africa, a US government-led initiative to increase electricity access across sub-Saharan Africa.

Jackson added that the project represents Ghana’s very first competitively-bid energy tender. Ghana has one of the highest rates of electricity in the Sub-Saharan region. This competitive procurement of energy will significantly help to lower energy costs for locals. The feasibility study will emesh technical, environmental and social analysis to ensure the project meets the appropriate standards.

“We are proud to connect Buipe Solar with a leading US company on this important project to expand energy access in Ghana,” said Lida Fitts, USTDA’s regional director for Sub-Saharan Africa.

“We’re delighted to be selected as technical services partner for the Buipe Solar PV feasibility study,” also commented Mike Huisenga, manager of the Renewable Energy Group for WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff. “We look forward to continuing our involvement in the power sector in Ghana, and we’re excited to play such an important role in helping to advance the country’s renewable energy objectives.”

Kwasi Boateng, Buipe Solar’s and BioTherm’s representative in Ghana said: “This solar project will result in direct and indirect employment for the Northern region, as well as build competencies and knowledge in a sector that is here to stay.”

Andre Dippenaar, chief financial officer of Biotherm Energy, will be speaking at Solar Media's Clean Energy Summit Africa event, 4-5 April in Accra, Ghana. To find out more, visit the even website here

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