Eni plans 20 MW solar power plant in Ghana

Italy’s oil group Eni announced it is planning to build a 20 MW photovoltaic power plant in the area of Tamale, in the north of Ghana. The project is part of Eni’s activities in the country, which include, inter alia, the Integrated Oil&Gas Development Project, in the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) block, off Ghana’s western coast, and other projects to improve the living conditions and mitigating impact on vulnerable groups in the Western Region.

The company also said it has started to assess the possibility of installing floating PV power plants in the Volta basin, without providing further details.

Eni only recently entered the renewable energy business in the past few years, in an effort to diversify its business. In September, the company announced it will cooperate with Algeria’s Sonatrach, a government-backed power company, under the guise of GSA (Sonatrach-Agip Groupement), to build a 10 MW PV plant in the country. Production of the solar plant is penciled in to begin before the end of 2016, and builds upon an agreement between ENI and Sonatrach to develop renewable energies in Algeria.

Furthermore, Eni is planning to deploy 220 MW of solar capacity in Italy by 2022. The company has already identified 14 projects that could be built in proprietary industrial areas that are available for use and of low interest for other business activities.

As for Ghana’s solar development, progresses are being made after several years of almost zero growth. In early November, the country’s largest power supplier, the Volta River Authority (VRA), announced it has secured funds to build two utility-scale PV plants in the Upper West Region from Germany’s government-owned development bank KfW. Earlier in October, the Ghanaian parliament had ratified the framework agreement which seeks to establish the International Solar Alliance (ISA).