Posted - 04 Dec 2012 : 11:23:34
Renewable energy is the right direction for Africa's electricity needs.
Ghana solar energy plant set to be Africa's largest
By Matt McGrath
BBC BBC News: 4 December 2012
A UK firm has announced plans to build what it claims is the biggest photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant in Africa.
The Nzema project, based in Ghana, will be able to provide electricity to more than 100,000 homes.
Construction work on the $400m (£248m) plant is due to start within 12 months.
The developers say that they are optimistic that finance for the project will be confirmed within six months.
The initiative is being developed by Blue Energy, a UK-based renewable energy investment company.
Dozens of solar projects have been announced across Africa in recent years but few have been on this ambitious scale says industry analyst Ash Sharma at IMS Research. He says the 155 megawatt plant will increase Ghana's generating capacity by 6%.
"It is the biggest single project that's going ahead at the moment," he told BBC News. "It is not the biggest in the world, but if it goes ahead it will be the biggest in Africa."
He says that a key element in helping the project go ahead has been Ghana's renewable energy law under which the plant has been awarded a feed-in tariff for 20 years. These are premium prices, guaranteed for the working life of the site.
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