Ghana to launch rooftop solar program in 2018

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Ghana’s Minister of Information, Mustapha Abdul Hamid, has announced that the long-expected MDA Solar Rooftop Programme will be launched in 2018.

Through the rebate scheme, which was originally conceived in 2015 and planned to be launched in 2016, the Ghanaian government intends to install around 200 MW of rooftop solar capacity throughout the country.

The program, which was redubbed “Government Goes Solar”, will ensure that government institutions switch to renewable energy to reduce Government’s expenditure on utilities, Abdul Hamid explained.

The country’s Deputy Minister of Energy, Joseph Cudjoe, added that his ministry is determined to leverage the benefits of solar energy and expand its usage across the country, and that switching to solar power will mitigate the power crisis the country has been facing for the past four years.

Under the new rebate program, the applicant is required to pay only for the cost of the balance of system components (BOS). This means inverter, batteries, charge controllers, breakers, switches, cables, and installation works. PV systems installed under the program can sell their power surplus to the local grid through a net-metering scheme. No power limit has been set for PV projects to be eligible to have access to net-metering.

According to the latest statistics available, Ghana had 23.22 MW of grid connected PV capacity as of the end of the first half of 2016. Most of this capacity comes from a 20 MW PV plant completed by the independent power producer BXC Ghana Ltd., a subsidiary of China-based industrial conglomerate Beijing Fuxing Xiao-Cheng Electronic, in April 2016.

Ghana, whose National Energy Policy is targeting 10% coverage of electricity production with renewables by 2020, is in desperate need of increased electricity capacity. Approximately 30% of its population has no access to power. The Ghanaian Strategic National Energy Plan (SNEP) aims at increasing generation capacity from 2,6 GW in 2012 to 5,5 GW by 2026.