West Africa’s First Solar-Hydro Hybrid Plant Operational in Ghana

Solar panels floating on a dam in Ghana.

In line with Ghana’s mission to promote access to reliable, clean, and affordable electricity, Power Africa assisted the Bui Power Authority (BPA) to operationalize the first 50 megawatt (MW) phase of its 250 MW solar-hydro hybrid project. This first 50 MW plant resulted in the doubling of Ghana’s grid-connected solar energy and is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 47,000 tons per year.

Power Africa worked with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to conduct and review grid impact and stability studies for the project, which is being built in installments of 50 MW to a total of 250 MW. The project generates renewable energy from solar that can operate during the day to complement existing hydropower production. The facility, which also features a 1 MW floating solar component, is expected to be completed in 2023.

Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Senior Minister on behalf of President Akufo-Addo, said, “This project further shows my government’s commitment to deliver on the promise to increase the renewable energy component in our energy mix to 10 percent by 2030.”

Aerial shot of a solar plant in Ghana.

Due to increasingly low water levels, especially during the dry season, BPA opted to add a solar element to the existing hydropower plant. This move enables the plant to operate during the day, harnessing the vast solar radiation resource in northern Ghana while giving grid operators more flexibility to run the hydropower plant during the evening.

BPA supports the Government’s goals of increased renewable energy penetration in the country and its greenhouse gas reduction obligations.

This novel approach has the potential to be replicated with other utilities in Ghana and across the West African sub-region, leading to more sustainable forms of energy generation.

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Power Africa

Power Africa

A U.S. Government-led partnership that seeks to add 30,000 MW and 60 million electricity connections in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 > https://bit.ly/2yPx3lJ