Ghana taps Switzerland & AfDB to finance 35 mini-grids & net-metering

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The government of Ghana has signed a grant agreement with the AfDB’s African Development Fund, and a financing agreement with the government of Switzerland, for the development of 35 solar mini-grids projects, and acceleration of net-metering projects in the country. 

At an estimated investment of $85.88 million, the project will benefit schools, health centres and communities across the country. The project will be financed through $27.39 million from the African Development Fund, $16million from a Ghana government counterpart, and $14 million from the Swiss government. 

In addition, the African Development Bank Group as an implementing entity of the Climate Investment Funds, leveraged concessional financing of $28.49 million for the project.

The systems will power 750 small medium-sized enterprises, 400 schools, 200 health centres and the energy service systems in 100 communities in the Volta Lake region and Northern region of Ghana. The Ghana Mini Grid and Solar Photovoltaic Net Metering project is expected to have an annual electricity output of renewable energy estimated at 111,361MWh, corresponding to an installed capacity of 67.5MW. 

Advancing Ghana’s net-metering programme

The mini-grids and net-metering project will mitigate 0.7795 million tons of CO2 emissions per year, and create up to 2,865 jobs during construction, of which 30% will target women and youth.

“We are pleased to have reached another milestone in our cooperation with this wonderful country. We hope that, together, this project will bring sustainable and affordable electricity to over 6,000 small and medium-sized enterprises and almost 5,000 households, besides 1,100 public buildings,” said Switzerland Ambassador to Ghana, Dominique Paravicini.

The financing from the government of Switzerland will specifically support the scale up of the existing Ghana net-metering programme, and deploy up to 12,000 units of roof-mounted net-metered solar PV systems for Small and medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) and households. Solar cells, also called photovoltaic (PV) cells, convert sunlight directly into electricity.

Ghanaian Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said the agreement demonstrated his government’s commitment to enhance the economic and social viability of low carbon investments and achieving energy efficiency. Ghana’s electricity access rate is currently at 87.13% the minister revealed. The last mile was often the most expensive and difficult, he noted.

The project will support Ghana’s Covid-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support (Ghana CARES) program, which identifies the energy sector as an enabler of economic transformation.

AfDB’s president, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina commented saying; “The Bank supports Ghana’s efforts in building resilience to the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing electricity to health care centres, schools and island communities, currently without access to electricity services, thus enabling refrigeration of vaccines and testing facilities in these communities.”


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