Akufo-Addo inaugurates $20 million solar facility in C/Region

BY: Shirley Asiedu-Addo, GOMOA ONYAADZE
President Akufo-Addo receives the Honorary Doctorate Degree.President Akufo-Addo being assisted by Mr John-Peter Amewu (2nd left), the Omanhene of Gomoa Akyempim, Obrifo Ahor Ankobea (3rd right) and the president of the Central Regional House of Chiefs, Obrempon Nyanful Krampah XI (2nd right), to inaugurate the 20MW Solar plant
President Akufo-Addo being assisted by Mr John-Peter Amewu (2nd left), the Omanhene of Gomoa Akyempim, Obrifo Ahor Ankobea (3rd right) and the president of the Central Regional House of Chiefs, Obrempon Nyanful Krampah XI (2nd right), to inaugurate the 20MW Solar plant

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has inaugurated a $20 million solar facility at Gomoa Onyaadze in the Gomoa West District in the Central Region.

The facility that is owned by Meienergy Ghana Limited, has 64,400 solar panels connected to five kilometres of cables and 12 transformers and has the capacity to generate 20 mega watts of power.

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A kilowatt hour is a composite unit of energy equivalent to 1000 watts of power used for one hour.

The inauguration formed part of activities of the President during his four-day visit to the region.

Rationalisation

President Akufo-Addo stated that the government would rationalise arrangements with Independent Power Producers (IPP) to get them bid competitively for energy supply projects.


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He noted that the current arrangements with IPPs were unacceptable and that it had led to high cost of energy for both industrial and domestic power consumers in the country.

According to the President, when the government came into office, it inherited IPP agreements which were contracted at the time of the country’s energy crisis and "therefore left the government in a weak position and got it accepting tarriff rates of 18 cents and over. 

In an era where 10 cents is the maximum, we are producing IPP agreements at 18 cents per kilowatts hour.”

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President Akufo-Addo also stated that the government was making efforts to ensure that 10 per cent of the nation's energy generation mix would be renewable by 2020.

He said even though it was an ambitious target, it was possible and achievable to ensure that a decade after now, renewable energy became the major contributor to the nation's energy mix.

The President further said the government had prioritised the expansion of environmentally friendly technology in the country in accordance with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and commended the managers of the solar project for their efforts.

1D1F

In an age where renewable energy facilities were being produced domestically, the President said the government would support the sector to grow in the country.

He said that could be achieved under the government’s One district One factory initiative where packages such as exemptions on import duties for machinery, raw materials and tax holidays had been rolled out.

"All these packages are part of  measures to encourage people to come under the 1D1F. This is going to be our attitude, that in future solar panels are going to be produced in Ghana," he added.

President Akufo-Addo earlier visited Casa de Ropa Company, a potato processing company at Gomoa Bewaadze under the 1D1F.

Renewable projects

The Minster for Energy, Mr John-Peter Amewu, said the nation could no longer continue to solely depend on its conventional energy sources and that renewable energy was the way to go.

He advised workers at the facility to adopt positive attitudes of ownership, maintenance and sustainability.

The minister also urged Meienergy Ghana to expand to other communities.

The Project Engineer on site, Mr Daniel Azu, said the project was environmentally friendly and that it would not only help to improve on energy supply but also provide jobs.

The Central Regional Minister, Mr Kwamena Duncan, expressed optimism that with government support for new businesses coupled with the 1D1F programme, the fortunes of the region would improve.