Ghana is looking to get on the solar map, and in a big way. International Solar Utilities, Sustainable Equities Group, and PN Solar intend to build 600 megawatts of solar power parks in the African country, six parks that are each 100 megawatts in size. Furthermore, they intend to open a solar panel factory with an annual output capacity of 300 megawatts. The idea is that the factory will produce solar panels that could help neighboring countries to also move forward with increasingly popular solar power.
Yesterday, I received a press release from Sustainable Equities Group about these plans (and I was told that I was actually the first to receive it). From that release, here are some more details about the factory:
Using new “glass-on-glass” technology, PN Solar Ghana will manufacture 820,000 of PN. Solar’s PN365 MonoGold Line PV solar panels a year from its facility in Tema, Ghana for an annual manufacturing output of 300MW. PN Solar Ghana will hire 300 local workers to construct its manufacturing facility in Tema, Ghana and construction is estimated to start in the summer of 2014 and take just over one year. Once the facility is operational, over 350 workers will be employed year round. PN Solar Ghana will work with the National Youth Authority to hire workers from the local community and offer training and educational programs for its workers and their families. PN Solar Ghana will contribute a percentage of its profits to facilitate quality of life initiatives and other programs in the local community.
International Solar Utilities (ISU) will use these PN Solar Ghana solar panels in order to develop the six 100 MW solar parks mentioned above, each costing about $125 million. For construction of each park, about 200 local workers will be needed. Furthermore, about 200 unskilled workers will be needed annually for their maintenance. ISU anticipates that it will directly create about 2,000 jobs in Ghana via these six solar parks.
Ghana’s current energy generating capacity is 2,100MW and ISU Ghana will add an additional 28% to Ghana’s national grid upon completion. Ghana is attempting to achieve an electricity generation capacity goal of 5,000MW by 2016. ISU will help Ghana achieve its goal while promoting local economic development.
Electricity and jobs for Ghana without destroying the planet—I think that's a triple-win.
For another big Ghana solar story, but one regarding a different company and project, check out: Africa's Biggest Solar Farm to be Built in Ghana (155 Megawatts)