Minister for Energy, Boakye Agyarko, is hopeful that  50 megawatts solar power to be added to Ghana’s national grid in 18 months within the next 18 months to augment the country’s energy delivery.

Speaking to B&FT after the signing of Memorandum of Understanding on renewable energy between the government and ENI Ghana, Mr. Agyarko said: “We are looking at an 18 months development and delivery timelines but it will all depend on a number of factors within their control; but, our expectation is that if all go on well within 18 months we should be able to start loading power from the solar systems through the same switchyard as Bui Power Authority’s Hydro onto the national grid.”

The Bui Power Authority, he said, has completed its switch yard to evacuate the full additional 250 megawatt to come online.

“What has not happened yet is ENI and Bui Power Authority sitting down and looking at the engineering of the solar portion and the development of the farm; that is something we have to leave to both sides to work out diligently. But within 18 months these engineering solutions and delivery are possible.”

Mr. Agyarko explained that government is playing a facilitating role with the construction of the solar system, since the project is entirely an ENI project.

“It is an ENI project; government is only facilitating the construction of the solar system where it will deliver power, it is just like any other independent power producer; it is not a cost to government,” he stressed.

Government has a target to have renewable energy constituting 10 percent of the country’s generation mix by 2020. There is also a plan to have government institutions supplementing their energy source with solar power.

Presently, less than 1% of electricity consumed locally is from renewable energy sources, a situation some players in the industry find worrying.

Parliament has already ratified a framework Agreement on the Establishment of the International Solar Alliance (ISA).

This means Ghana has already joined some 121 countries to access US$2 billion from the Indian government towards making renewable energy a reliable alternative to the more expensive sources of energy on the continent.

With this ratification, government hopes to expedite the integration of renewable energy in the sources for electricity among its institutions and agencies, including Junior and Senior High Schools.

Over the next five years, there would be significant increase of PV energy in the power mix for the country.

Signing the agreement, Luca Consentino, Executive Vice President ENI, Milan-Italy, assured government of the firm’s commitment to deliver world-class solar power to help augment the country’s energy.

ENI, an Italian international petroleum company, has been in Ghana since 2009. The government is in a US$7bn contract with the company to produce oil and gas at Cape Three Points.

Even though the company is involved in the exploration of oil and gas, Mr. Consentino indicated that his outfit is interested in renewable energy because “we believe that renewable energy is the future”.

For that reason, he said, it was collaborating with the government to realize its long-term strategy of integrating traditional businesses with renewable energy sources.


In the biggest blow he’s dealt to the renewable energy industry yet, President Donald Trump decided on Monday to slap tariffs on imported solar panels.

The U.S. will impose duties of as much as 30 percent on solar equipment made abroad, a move that threatens to handicap a $28 billion industry that relies on parts made abroad for 80 percent of its supply. Just the mere threat of tariffs has shaken solar developers in recent months, with some hoarding panels and others stalling projects in anticipation of higher costs. The Solar Energy Industries Association has projected tens of thousands of job losses in a sector that employed 260,000.

The tariffs are just the latest action Trump has taken that undermine the economics of renewable energy. The administration has already decided to pull the U.S. out of the international Paris climate agreement, rolled back Obama-era regulations on power plant-emissions and passed sweeping tax reforms that constrained financing for solar and wind. The import taxes, however, will prove to be the most targeted strike on the industry yet.

“Developers may have to walk away from their projects,” Hugh Bromley, a New York-based analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in an interview before Trump’s decision. “Some rooftop solar companies may have to pull out” of some states.

U.S. panel maker First Solar Inc. jumped 9 percent to $75.20 in after-hours trading in New York. The Tempe, Arizona-based manufacturer stands to gain as costs for competing, foreign panels rise. First Solar didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The Solar Energy Industries Association also didn’t immediately respond.

The first 2.5 gigawatts of imported solar cells will be exempt from the tariffs, Trump said in a statement Monday. The president approved four years of tariffs that start at 30 percent in the first year and gradually drop to 15 percent.

The duties are lower than the 35 percent rate the U.S. International Trade Commission recommended in October after finding that imported panels were harming American manufacturers. The idea behind the tariffs is to raise the costs of cheap imports, particularly from Asia, and level the playing field for those who manufacture the parts domestically.

For Trump, they may represent a step toward making good on a campaign promise to get tough on the country that produces the most panels — China. Trump’s trade issues took a backseat in 2017 while the White House focused on tax reform, but it’s now coming back into the fore: The solar dispute is among several potential trade decisions that also involve washing machines, consumer electronics and steel.

“It’s the first opportunity the president has had to impose tariffs or any sort of trade restriction,” Clark Packard, a trade policy expert at the R Street Institute in Washington, said ahead of the decision. “He’s kind of pining for an opportunity.”

Trump’s solar decision comes almost nine months after Suniva Inc., a bankrupt U.S. module manufacturer with a Chinese majority owner, sought import duties on solar cells and panels. It asserted that it had suffered “ serious injury” from a flood of cheap panels produced in Asia. A month later, the U.S. unit of German manufacturer SolarWorld AG signed on as a co-petitioner, adding heft to Suniva’s cause.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Km7eFCl5ZQ

An attorney for Solarworld didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Suniva had sought import duties of 32 cents a watt for solar panels produced outside the U.S. and a floor price of 74 cents a watt.

While Trump has broad authority on the size, scope and duration of duties, the dispute may shift to a different venue. China and neighbors including South Korea may opt to challenge the decision at the World Trade Organization — which has rebuffed prior U.S.-imposed tariffs that appeared before it.

Lewis Leibowitz, a Washington-based trade lawyer, expects the matter will wind up with the WTO. “Nothing is very likely to stop the relief in its tracks,” he said before the decision. “It’s going to take a while.”

The solar industry may also attempt a long-shot appeal to Congress.

“Trump wants to show he’s tough on trade, so whatever duties or quotas he imposes will stick, whatever individual senators or congressmen might say,” Gary Hufbauer, a Washington-based senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said by email before the decision.


Newly completed Mother & Baby unit at KATH,Kumasi-Ghana

The recently constructed Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi has five different sources of power, namely national electricity grid (ECG), backup battery bank, the KATH’s main generators, the facility’s own generator and a state of the art Grid-tied solar power system.The MBU’s power system is configured to prioritize solar as  the main power source. In the heart of the solar design is a 3 phase 20Kw Fronuis Symo inverter. Grid-tied solar power systems dont require batteries and are  the most cost effective to install.

 

 

Why The Fronuis Symo Inverter ?

The transformerless Fronius Symo is the ideal compact three-phase solar inverter for commercial applications of all sizes. The Fronius Symo is the clear commercial choice, boasting power classes from 10 kW to 25 kW, necessary features fully integrated, Fronius SuperFlex Design with dual MPPT, and a streamlined installation process. The SnapINverter hinge mounting system, lightweight inverter and easy commissioning app make installation possible in under fifteen minutes.

The installed solar power system is expected to save the hospital at least  U$D 50,000 in electricity bills over the next five years.The savings could be utilized by other operations of the facility such as drugs,salaries and vehicle  maintenance.

                                                                           Ghana has The only Green hospital in Africa

polycrystalline solar panels installed on the roof of KATH,Kumasi

The USD 2.5 million ultra-modern facility, built in a record of five months, was spearheaded by Mrs Akufo-Addo and her team at the Rebecca Foundation, following the Multimedia’s Seth Kwame Boateng’s “Next to die” documentary on the deplorable conditions mothers and babies who attended the hospital for healthcare were going through.The world class facility that had earned EDGE certification, from a group affiliated to the IFC/ World Bank, for being the only green hospital in Africa, covers a total build area of 2,722 square meters, with an internal indoor area of 1,724 metre square, instead of the old MBU that had 350 metre square.

The building, which would house the Maternity, Neonatal and Paediatric Intensive care and operating theatres of the Hospital, had been built to withstand earthquakes, fires and explosions and has temperature insulation and noise isolation capabilities.It also has been well equipped with nine birthing beds instead of the former two at the old MBU, with three operating theatres, 130 baby cots.

                                                                             What can Ghana learn from this project ?

20kva Fronuis inverter comes with 5 year warranty & was commissioned by Nocheski Solar

With 11 paediatric beds, two infant ventilators, filtered fresh air and independent post-delivery and post operatory rooms while the faucets, showers and toilets use low volume of water.The 2.5 million dollar facility is expected to help reduce the high infant and maternal mortality that is being recorded by the KATH over the years due to lack of space and hospital equipment.The First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo and her Foundation partnered The Multimedia Group and many other partners  to raise funds for the project.Nocheski Solar would like to congratulate H.E Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo,Rebecca Foundation and all the project partners for investing in a Fronuis Grid-tied solar power system for the project.We believe this is worthy of emulation by other organizations  across the nation who may want to make enormous savings on electricity  in the future.Further enquiries may be made by calling a product specialist on +233244270092 or email [email protected]

Take a glimpse of the installation in Kumasi in this short video