The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has signed a $704,815 grant with Home Energy Africa Limited for the development of a photovoltaic (solar) power generation project in the country.
The project, to be situated in the village of Nyimbale-Sankana in the Upper West Region, would generate 100 megawatts of power to provide electricity to about 80,000 average homes in Ghana.
Work on the project, which would begin soon, is expected to be completed in 2017 and for the production of electricity to also start in 2018. The site and environment permit and the construction permit for the project are ready.
Robert P. Jackson, the US Ambassador to Ghana, who signed the grant on behalf of the United States Trade and Development Agency, said the signing of the agreement demonstrated US’ commitment to increase access to power for Ghanaians.
Mr Charles Sena Kwadzo Ayenu, the Chief Executive Officer of Home Energy Africa Limited, signed for his side.
Ambassador Jackson said the unreliable and inadequate supply of electric power was a major challenge to businesses and entrepreneurs and a constraint to the economy.
This need, he said, underlined the prioritisation of increasing access to power for Ghanaians in the United States’ bilateral relationship with Ghana.
“Presently, Ghana has 2,450 megawatts of installed capacity,” he said. “The Government of Ghana aspires to double that capacity to 5000 megawatts this year, including 10 per cent from renewable sources.
“Through programmes such as Power Africa, the Partnership for Growth and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, we are co-operating with government, the private sector and others to make Ghana’s future brighter, literally brighter,” he stated.
Mr Jackson explained that the USTDA grant would go to provide technical assistance to Home Energy Africa Limited through GreenMax Capital Advisors, an American firm, in finalising the legal and financial details necessary to bring the project into fruition.
The assistance includes preparation for power purchase agreement negotiations with the Electricity Company of Ghana, services contracts and financial arrangements.
Stressing the importance of the private sector in providing solutions to development challenges, the US Ambassador said the USTDA had provided about $21.5 million for the Power Africa Project and supported the development of nearly 670 megawatts of new power generation throughout Africa.
The US has also funded studies in Ghana towards improving electricity access and modernising distribution frameworks.
“It is exciting to see the great things that can happen when American and Ghanaian companies partner,” he said. “We are able to bring products and services that benefit Ghanaians throughout this country.”
Mr Ayenu said the company had come a long way on the project since it came to Ghana in 2014.
The signing of the grant, he said, was the last hurdle the company had crossed to begin work on the project, adding that they had also acquired a 30 per cent equity funding agreement for the $150-million project.
He said aside providing electricity to about 80,000 homes, the project would also create 200 permanent jobs for the community as well as other temporary jobs.