As a part of the government’s power development project in the Upper West Region, the Volta River Authority (VRA) has completed the 13MWp Kaleo Solar Power Plant Project. The project will increase VRA’s ability to produce electricity while lowering its carbon footprint by boosting the production of non-fossil fuels.
As he commissioned the Kaleo Solar Power Plant, President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to diversifying the nation’s energy generation portfolio and boosting the mix of renewable energy generation. The project is the first phase of what will eventually be a 28MWp plant at Kaleo.
The President stated that the Kaleo solar plant, along with other ongoing energy efficiency interventions such as the use of natural gas for thermal generation, the adoption of cleaner cooking solutions, and the de-carbonization of oil production, among others, are assisting Ghana in accelerating the achievement of its Nationally Determined Contributions, as presented at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.
He explained, “The Solar project has a dedicated transmission line that evacuates power from the current and future solar capacity at Kaleo to the GRIDCo substation at Wa.” “The Kaleo Solar Power Plant’s completion is consistent with Ghana’s Nationally Determined Contributions to mitigating the effects of climate change.”
The Kaleo Solar Power Plant Project, according to the President, “will provide several benefits, including increasing the geographic spread of power generation assets; improving the resilience of the national power system; stabilizing voltage levels and reliability of power supply in the Upper West Region; and, ultimately, reducing the nation’s carbon footprint,” he said.
The President added that there will be more job opportunities for residents of the Upper West region with the addition of a second 15 MW solar power plant, bringing the project’s capacity to 28 MWp.
Mr Kofi Tutu Agyare, Board Chairman of the Volta River Authority (VRA), stated, “This project will increase Ghana and VRA’s generation capacity by 13MWp, diversify VRA’s generation portfolio by adding more Renewable Energy Generation, and improve the quality of power supply in the Upper West Region.”
“It will also help reduce national carbon emissions by displacing energy that gas-fired thermal plants would otherwise generate (estimated at 3,400 tons of CO2) per year,” he added. He assured the Technical Universities in the country’s north that VRA is “ready to open its doors to students for practical training at the Plant site.”
He was optimistic that the Kaleo Solar Plant would be able to supply a sizable share of the Upper West Region’s electrical needs.
In order to ensure power accessibility and dependability, Mr Tutu Agyare informed Ghanaians that the Volta River Authority (VRA) will ensure effective maintenance of the Kaleo Solar Power Plant in accordance with the Authority’s custom.
“As part of our commitment to upholding our corporate social responsibility to the community, VRA has provided employment for 130 people via the project, 95% of whom were residents of the area.
There will be some renovations made to the Kaleo D/A Primary School as well as sanitary facilities installed. It is anticipated that the Power Plant would draw tourists to the Kaleo neighbourhood, and the route leading from the Kaleo village to the Solar Plant has been improved.
The Volta River Authority has always been at the forefront of the country’s electrification program, according to the board chairman.
Our dedication to providing the energy necessary for national development has not wavered over the years, as evidenced by the fact that we have successfully operated the nation’s first hydropower plant for almost 60 years, its first thermal power plant for more than 25 years, and its first solar power plant for almost ten years.
Mr Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, Chief Executive of VRA, took the opportunity in an interview to thank all stakeholders involved in the project. “I would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to the Hon. Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Energy, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Public Enterprises, Hon. Joseph Cudjoe, Deputy Minister of Energy, Hon. Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, Honourable Ministers and Members of Parliament present, the German Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Daniel Krull, Spanish Ambassador to Ghana.
Mr Jose Javier Gutierrez Blanco-Navarrete, Upper West Regional Minister, Mr Hafiz Bin Salih, Elecnor S.A, Tractebel Engineering, KfW, Executives and representatives of sister utilities, and, of course, the VRA Board, Management, and Staff.”
He also expressed his appreciation to Kaleo’s traditional leaders and people for their ongoing support. “I’d also like to thank Kaleo’s traditional leaders and people for their support for this project.” I can assure you that VRA will continue to work hard to improve your lives.”
Elecnor S.A. of Spain completed the Kaleo Solar Power Plant project, with Tractebel Engineering of Germany serving as the Project Consultant. KfW, a German Development Bank, funded the project through a Loan Agreement between the German and the Government of Ghana.
The Volta River Authority (VRA) was established on April 26, 1961, by the Volta Development Act, Act 46, with the mandate to generate, transmit and distribute electricity.
However, the Act was revised in 2005 as part of a campaign to restructure the power industry, limiting VRA’s authority to the production of energy. Independent Power Producers were also able to enter the Ghanaian energy market owing to the legislation.
With a total installed capacity of 2,532 MW or nearly 52% of Ghana’s installed capacity, VRA offers a diverse portfolio of power generation.
The portfolio includes several thermal power plants with an installed capacity of 1,330MW, three (3) solar plants with an installed capacity of 22 MW, and two hydro plants, the Akosombo and Kpong Generating Stations, both of which are situated on the Volta River and have capacities of 1,020MW and 160MW, respectively.
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