American Energy Giant, TC’s Energy USA and its partners, Power China Huadong Engineering Corporation Ltd and Seabased of Sweden, have signed a major agreement to finance and revive the Ada Foah Energy Project, which has stalled for years.
TC’s Energy Ghana, a Ghanaian owned company is the local counterpart to the project which seeks to establish a wave energy park in the Gulf of Guinea in Ghana, about 17 kilometers off the coast of Ada to generate 1,000 megawatts of power from sea waves, employing an environmentally friendly technology – the ‘SEABASED’ Wave Energy Converters (WEC).
Seabased Industry AB has in collaboration with TC’s Energy, been working to create Africa’s first wave power plant, at Ada Foah since 2015, when the onshore grid connected switchgear was installed and the first phase of the wave energy converters were deployed and connected.
The sponsors have already invested over US$ 10 million for the acquisition of the project land and implementation of the pilot project. Officials say the project will offer energy at a lower cost of between 3 and 4 cents compared with 10 or more cents available from hydro and thermal. In addition, there is enormous environmental benefit since the project is renewable.
Speaking at the signing ceremony CEO of TC’s Energy, Mr. Anthony Opoku said the benefits to the government upon implementation are enormous as there will be no need to purchase oil, gas or other resources to produce electricity.
“It is based on the wave heights. So, before we even place this unit, we do some studies to see the average wave heights, and currently, the average wave heights is 2.5 (metres), but sometimes it can go as high as 12 meters, and sometimes the waves can get crazy, and even go as high as 20 metres. So, for us, the more wave the more money and the more electricity for the country”.
“The generation part is all underneath the sea so you won’t see anything.The only thing you will see when we go to the other side is the switch gear where the power comes directly into the grid,” he revealed.
The project, with the tagline “Pioneering Wave Energy in Africa”, will involve the installation of generator units (WECs) and marine substations offshore; installation of an onshore sub-station to connect to the national grid; and the laying of cables to link the offshore generating units and the onshore sub-station located about 100m from the shore.
TC’s Energy has also applied to the Ghana Standards Authority for Marine Energy Converters Certification to ensure that the project meets the highest international requirements.
Under the terms of the agreement, Power China will provide 85 percent of the cost, while the remaining 15 percent is borne by the Ghanaian company. The initial plan is to begin with 5 megawatts, and scale up to the project target of 100 megawatts within 24 months.
Prof. Alex Dodoo, the Director General of the Ghana Standards Authority, said the process assures the country of safety and quality generation of power.
“The Standard Authority was approached by TC’s wave Energy to ensure that, the energy they want to generate and the entire processes are certified in accordance with international best practices. So, the Standards Authority met several times and considered the scheme we were going to use for the marine energy converter certification. We are in this country going to generate electricity from sea waves. Marine energy converter exists, however, this is going to be the biggest in Africa and most likely the biggest in the world. We at the Standards Authority are sure that that it is going to be efficient from what we have seen,” he said.
The GSA will provide professional and technical services to the project in the area of inspection, testing, precision measurement and certification.