The power supply in the Northern Regions is expected to see improvement significantly by the end of this year.
The system losses, which have been occurring due to the transmission of power from the Eastern and Western power enclaves to the Northern part of the West African nation, will also reduce.
This is according to the country’s Minister for Energy John-Peter Amewu.
The Minister, who disclosed this during a sod-cutting ceremony for the construction of 4MW and 13MW solar power projects at Lawra and Kaleo respectively in the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region, on Tuesday, said the project is a demonstration of the government’s commitment to addressing power challenges in that part of the country.
The 4MWp capacity will be connected to the 34.5kV Distribution Network at Lawra, and the 13MW capacity will be connected to the 161kV Transmission System at the GRIDCo Substation at Wa.
“I am happy to mention that the 17MWp Solar Power Project is the perfect complement to the hydro dams at Akosombo and Kpong.
“This is so because, during the day, the solar power plant will make use of the free energy from the sun to generate power, thereby, reducing power generation from Akosombo and Kpong Dams.
“The locations of the solar plants in the Upper West region will also reduce the power transmitted from the south and, thereby, making capacity available in the transmission systems and also, importantly, reducing the associated losses with the power transmission,” he said.
The project was designed by Ghana’s leading power generation company and funded by the German Government’s Development Bank, KfW, at a coat of €22.8 million.
President Akufo-Addo, in a speech, noted the solar power project is the first of its in-kind the Upper West Region, saying, “It would mean that this region also has its share of power generation assets in the country.”
He was hopeful that upon completion, the project would serve as the impetus for the development of the region.
“I am looking forward to educational institutions in the Upper West Region bringing their students to see the practical demonstration of an operational solar plant. Students will have the opportunity to do their internships and National Service at these plants, thus, increasing their knowledge in the field of solar energy,” he said.
Tertiary institutions, President Akufo-Addo noted can also collaborate with the VRA to undertake research in areas that would improve the efficiency and sustainability of the plant, amongst others.
“We should get our next generation of solar energy experts from this region,” he added.
On his part, the German Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Christopher Retzlaff noted that the German government decided to fund the project because of an excellent relationship that existed between the two countries.
“As this project is one of the first of its kind, I am sure that it will pave the way for similar projects in the energy sector. In addition, it will boost the electricity supply in Ghana’s Upper West Region.
“I am certain that this will open new and promising development perspectives for the people in the region,” he said.