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Africa to build its biggest solar plant

Posting in Energy

The British firm Blue Energy is building a massive photovoltaic solar power plant in Ghana. When completed the company says it will be the biggest solar plant in Africa and the fourth-largest in the world.

The $400 million Nzema solar plant will produce 155 megawatts of electricity, increasing the country's electricity capacity by 6 percent. It will also play a big part in meeting Ghana's stated renewable energy goals. The Nzema solar plant alone will produce 20 percent of the renewable energy needed to meet the country's goal of producing 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, The Guardian reports:

Chris Dean, chief executive of Blue Energy, said: "Ghana's forward-thinking strategy puts it in a strong position to lead the renewable energy revolution in sub-Saharan Africa. Nzema is a case study in how governments can unlock the huge potential for solar energy in Africa. We are delighted that it will make a strong contribution to the national economy, provide much needed generating capacity and help develop the skills of the future."

Ghana is an especially attractive place to intest in renewable energy development because of the country's feed-in tariff program, which pays for renewable energy generation.

The plant is expected to be fully operational in 2015.

Africa's largest solar power plant to be built in Ghana [The Guardian]

Photo: Flickr/Brookhaven National Laboratory

— By on December 4, 2012, 5:26 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure