Government inaugurates 26 solar-powered micro-grids

By
Albert Futukpor, GNA

Langantre (N/R), Sept 11, GNA – The government
has inaugurated 26 solar-powered micro-grids for remote off-grid health
facilities in the Northern, Brong Ahafo and Western Regions to improve health
service delivery to the people.

Eleven health facilities including
Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS compounds) located in West
Gonja, North Gonja, Central Gonja, Zabzugu, Gusheigu, Mamprugu/Moaduri and
Kumbungu Districts in the Northern Region have been connected to the facility
likewise nine others in Brong Ahafo Region and six in Western Region.

The project is a built-on of the Ministry of
Energy’s off-grid solar energy interventions to improve primary health care
delivery in remote off-grid communities with special focus on women and
children.

The United Nations (UN) Foundation through the
UKaid provided a grant facility of 2.5 million dollars to the government to
implement the project, and each of the facilities has the capacity to generate
between three to five kilowatts of power.

Mr John Peter Amewu, Minister for Energy, who
inaugurated one of the projects at Langantre in the West Gonja District on
Monday, said “Through the Ghana Energy Development and Access Project, over
2400 health and basic schools have been connected to solar photovoltaic systems
to improve health and teaching in some of the difficult-to-reach communities of
the country.”

Currently, only about 20 per cent of the total
installed power capacity across the 26 health facilities is used.

Mr Amewu, therefore, directed the Renewable
Energy and Distribution Directorate to work with the contractor to string a few
low voltage lines in the affected communities fitted with LED streetlights and
centralised energy service centres to improve energy access and the quality of
night life of the people.

He said “This should be structured in a manner
that will ensure revenue generation to improve the sustainability of the
project.”

Mr Amewu announced that “Additional 38,000
standalone solar home systems and 55 mini-grids would be delivered under the
Scaling-up Renewable Energy Programme in off-grid communities to improve energy
access and create opportunities for the private sector for the wellbeing of the
people.”

He assured that government would continue to
pursue its policy of competitive procurement of renewable energy particularly
solar technologies and addition of at least 10 per cent of the capacity of
renewable energy to the generation mix.

He said “We are committed to ensuring that the
price of power in Ghana becomes competitive in the sub-region to attract the
required investments and development for our people.” 

 Mr
Salifu Saeed, Northern Regional Minister lauded the project saying it would
also help in addressing issues of poverty in the beneficiary communities.

Mr Jeremiah Tiimob, Deputy Director in-charge
of Administration at the Northern Regional Health Directorate underscored the
importance of electric power to health care delivery saying it helped in
storing medicines and vaccines amongst others.

He assured that the facilities would be
properly maintained to realise its benefits.

Mr Gordon Adisenu-Doe, a representative of
Power World Limited and Cornerstone Capital, contractors of the project, who
spoke on behalf of UN Foundation, expressed the need for all to play their
roles to sustain the project by properly maintaining it.

Meanwhile, personnel from the health sector
have been trained to operate and maintain the facility.

Busunuwura Nungbaso II, Chief of Busunu, whose
speech was read on his behalf, appealed to government to extend electricity to
the communities in the area to promote their economic activities.

GNA

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