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This Proposed Solar Energy Plant In Ghana Would Be Africa’s Largest; It Could Power 100,000 Homes
December 4, 2012
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A UK-based company has announced plans to build a solar plant in Ghana which would be the largest of its kind in Africa, generating enough power to provide electricity to more than 100,000 homes.

This is a big deal for sustainable power in Africa, according to industry analyst Ash Sharma.

He told BBC News "it is the biggest single [solar] project that's going ahead at the moment" in Africa.

Part of the reason the project is pushing forward now is Ghana's renewable energy law. It offers renewable energy companies in Ghana "feed-in tariffs," or long-term contracts to buy the energy they produce.

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In this case, if the 155-megawatt plant goes ahead as planned, it will get a guaranteed 20-year contract with the Ghanaian government. And to get an idea of how much power it will generate, that 155 megawatts would increase Ghana's generating capacity by six per cent.

Another reason for the timing of the new plant is the reduced cost of solar panels.

In the past, high costs have held back demand for solar power in emerging economies like Ghana, but recently the world market has been flooded with supply, bringing prices down significantly, and paving the way for Mere Power Nzema Ltd., the company behind this plant, to proceed.

The project is already fully planned: it's got government consent, land, a generating license, and that feed-in tariff agreement.

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