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 said. “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. Project director Douglas Coleman, from Mere Power Nzema Ltd. who will build the plant, said that it was “fully cooked” in planning terms. “The project has land, it has planning consent, it has a generating licence, and it has received a feed-in tariff,” he said, “it is the right plant in the right place at the right time.” He was confident that the finance needed to build the plant could be raised in the next six months.
Installation of more than 630,000 solar PV modules will begin by the end of next year with electricity being generated early in 2014. It is due to reach full capacity at the end of 2015. (Source: The News, December 05, 2012)