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Ghana Powers Up: The Largest Solar Plant in Africa is Coming

Author: Joshua Shoemake

The sun is shining on Aiwiaso, a village of 6,600 people in western Ghana. Some 200 kilometres north of the Ghanaian port at Takoradi, 100 kilometres east of the border with the Ivory Coast, the biggest solar power plant ever conceived on the continent is taking shape. Promising enough energy to power 100,000 homes, this may well change the way African governments think about the future of energy.

Scheduled for completion in October 2016, the Nzema solar power plant will be not just the largest in Africa but one of the largest in the world. It will add to Ghana’s current electricity generation capacity by 5.5 percent. And it will get the country 20 percent of the way to the 2020 goal set by the country’s 2011 Renewable Energy Act – to source 10 percent of its total energy from renewable sources. The project will cover 182 hectares, its 630,000 photovoltaic panels mounted on 37,000 tonnes of supporting steel framework with 2,000 kilometres of connecting cables.

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