Business News of Tuesday, 12 December 2017
The Bui Power Authority (BPA) on Monday said it has appropriately positioned itself as the renewable energy leader to power green energy for the country.
Mr Fred Oware, BPA Chief Executive Officer, said BPA had expanded its focus to renewable energy, which was in line with the Energy Ministry’s vision of increasing the renewable to about 10 per cent of Ghana’s energy mix.
He explained that this meant they should be looking at adding at least 500 megawatt (MW) of renewable energy to the country’s energy generation.
He said in this regard, the BPA had expanded its switchyard at the Bui Generation Station (GS) to accommodate 250MW of solar-generated power.
“BPA will be the first hybrid generation plant by the end of 2018, combining hydro and solar power generation,” Mr Oware stated, at the maiden BPA Editor’s Breakfast Meeting in Accra.
“The Authority intends to train more of its engineers and other staff in pursuing and accomplishing this very important task of meeting the Ministry of Energy’s target for renewable energy generation,” he added.
He said to further this renewable vision; BPA was prospecting six possible sites for solar generation in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
In view of this, the BPA was commencing a 30 kilovolts (kV) generation from the Tsatsadu Falls in the Volta Region and was working with GS-WIND and the University of Ghana on wind energy generation.
Mr Oware said: “Our mandate to provide renewable energy for the National Interconnected Transmission System (NITS) has spurred us on to developing a firm foundation to meet the Government’s objective of achieving at least 10 per cent of the national electricity load being of Photovoltaics (PV) energy by 2020.
“We have finished the testing and commissioning of 250MW switchyard facilities purposely built to evacuate solar power”.
He said adequate lands had been demarcated for solar parks to support the programme; stating that compensation to farmers had been settled, whilst permitting and licensing procedures were being followed.
“We are certain that construction works will start in the first quarter of next year in modules of 50MW pv solar park per project,” Mr Oware said.
He said additionally, some appropriate sites in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions had been acquired to ensure that solar parks were not concentrated at one location.
He said over a five year period, there would be significant increase of pv energy in the power mix for the country.
With regards to the Bui Hydro-Generating Station, Mr Oware said it had three generating units with each having a capacity to generate 133MW of power and a mini-plant of 4MW, totalling 400MW.
He said the commissioning of the 400MW Bui Generating Station in December 2013, thus added about 20 per cent of installed hydro capacity to Ghana’s energy production.
He said Bui Generating Station had, since its inauguration, been generating averagely 220MW of power daily.
Mr Oware said BPA was currently in contractual talks with Sinohydro to ensure that for the next five to 10 years, they would assist BPA to carry out its major maintenance and procure spare parts for the various components of the Bui Generating Station.