A UK firm has announced a plan to build what it claims is the biggest photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant in Africa.
The Nzema project, based in Ghana will be able to provide electricity to more than 100,000 homes.
Construction work on the $400 million (�248 million) plant is due to start within 12 months. The developers say that they are optimistic that finance for the project will be confirmed within six months.
The initiative is being developed by Blue Energy, a UK-based renewable energy investment company.
Dozens of solar projects have been announced across Africa in recent years but few have been on this ambitious scale, says industry analyst Ash Sharma at IMS Research. He says the 155 megawatt plant will increase Ghana�s generation capacity by six per cent.
�It is the biggest single project that�s going ahead at the moment.� He told BBC news. �It is not the biggest in the world, but if it goes ahead, it will be the biggest in Africa.�
He says that a key element in helping the project go ahead has been Ghana�s renewable energy law under which the plant has been awarded a feed-in tariff for 20 years. These are premium prices, guaranteed for the working life of the site.
Project director Douglas Coleman, from Mere Power Nzema Ltd, who will build the plant, told BBC News that it was �fully cooked� in planning terms.
�The project has land, it has planning consent, it has a generating license, and it has received a feed-in-traiff,� he said, it is the right plant in the right place at the right time.�
He was confident that the finance needed to build the plant could be raised in the next six months.
The company behind the scheme is majority owned and funded by members of the Stadium Group, a large European private asset and development company with �2.5bn under management.
Ash Sharma believes that the backing of this firm plus the feed-in tariff makes the idea viable.
�One of the biggest stumbling blocks has been overcome and the financing looks as it it could be in a good position to succeed, I would say.�
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|