A wind power project expected to generate 400 megawatts of electricity has stalled as government appears to brood over the current excess capacity in the system.
It is being developed by Swiss-based engineering company, NEK Umwelttechnik AG, together with its affiliated company, Upwind International AG.
The power project consists of two wind farms located at Konikablo and Ayitepa in the Greater Accra Region.
They are to bring an installed electricity capacity of more than 400 megawatts of clean, renewable, cheap and sustainable energy when completed.
The two sites are part of a total of five large-scale wind energy projects being undertaken by the two companies to generate around 1,000 megawatts of electricity.
A Project Management Officer of NEK, Miss Jasmine Kappiah, said although the Ayitepa Wind Farm project had received all required permits, including a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) by the end of 2017, the project had stalled because government had not given the investors the go-ahead to start construction.
Briefing a media team during a tour to the Ayitepa wind farm in the Ningo-Prampram District on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, Miss Kappiah said the 225 megawatts Ayitepa Wind Farm project, consisting of up to 75 wind turbines with heights of up to 140 metres on about 1,000 acres, were secured by NEK under a 30-year land lease agreement with the owners of the land.
She said the project, scheduled to be carried out in two phases, is estimated at an investment volume of $450 million.
The first phase will generate 150 megawatts, while the second phase will generate 75 megawatts.
She attributed the delay to Ghana’s excess capacity in the energy sector and the government’s commitments to different independent power producers (IPPs), including Karpowership, Aska, Amandi, Ameri, and Cenpower.
She noted that while the other IPPs were producing electricity using oil and gas at a high cost to consumers, NEK’s wind farms would, however, produce electricity on a much cheaper level in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.
She said the Konikablo Wind Farm, also located on the Tema-Aflao Highway, would have a capacity of up to 200MW clean, affordable and reliable electrical energy once completely commissioned.
Miss Kappiah said due to the moratorium placed on any new renewable energy project by the government, the investors had decided to sell the electricity from the Konikablo Wind Farm to bulk consumers in Ghana, and export to other countries in the West Africa sub-region.
To that end, NEK in October 2019, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ECOWAS for the export of cheap power from the Konikablo Wind Farm to Togo, Burkina Faso and other neighbouring countries through the West African Power Pool Grid to offtakers in those countries.
She said NEK was in the process of acquiring the authorisations, and that the construction of the Konikablo Wind Farm would commence in 2022.
The Executive Director of the Institute of Energy Security (IES), Nana Amoasi VII, called on government to show the same effort and commitment to renewable energy as it had shown for non-renewable energy sources over the years.
Nana Amoasi, known in private life as Paa Kwasi Anamua Sakyi, noted that although the 2017 Budget stated that government would facilitate the implementation of the wind farm projects by 2018, nothing had been done three years on.
He called on the government to show more commitment by investing in renewable energy to expand energy access and enhance efficiency.
He said effective investment in renewable energy would help cut global warming emissions, create new jobs, diversify power supply and decrease dependence on fossil fuel.
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Source: General News