PRESIDENT Nana Akufo-Addo, on 10 October 2020, commissioned the 6.5MW Lawra solar power plant, located in the Upper West Region.
The office of the Presidency noted in a statement that in February this year Akufo-Addo was in Kaleo, in the Nadowli District, to cut the sod for the construction of two solar power projects; one in Kaleo and the other in Lawra, both in the Upper West Region.
‘I indicated, at the time, that, once completed, these two projects will deliver a combined power supply of about 20MW to the national grid. Eight months on, I am happy to commission the first of the power projects which has been completed, and that is the 6.5MW solar power project, here in Lawra,’ said President Akufo-Addo.
The ceremony, according to him, reaffirms the commitment of the government to diversify the country’s energy generation portfolio. He added that the move will help increase the renewable energy component of the country’s energy mix, and contribute to the fight against the effects of climate change.
‘The completion of this project in Lawra should remind all of us that the government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo delivers on its promises,’ he added.
The President continued: ‘As I indicated at the sod-cutting ceremony, this solar plant is the first of its kind ever to be established in the Upper West Region. This means the Upper West Region has now its fair share of power generation facilities in the country.’
He expressed confidence that the solar plants at Lawra and Kaleo, whose combined output is sufficient to meet a significant portion of the electricity demand in the Upper West Region, will help support local small and medium scale enterprises, as well as enhance other socio-economic activities.
The President further stressed that it will help reduce transmission losses on the national grid and improve the reliability of the distribution system in Lawra and its surroundings.
‘I am pleased that the contractor, in the process of constructing this plant, employed some 100 people from communities within the Lawra District. I am expectant that persons, particularly the youth, with the requisite technical skills, would be recruited for the operation and maintenance phase of this facility,’ he said.
‘It is gratifying to learn that the [power generator] Volta River Authority (VRA) will ensure that this facility becomes a source for practical studies on solar power operations by technical universities in the regions of the northern sector of Ghana,’ President Akufo-Addo added.
As part of their corporate social responsibility to the community, both VRA and Elecnor, the project contractor, have undertaken to provide smaller installations of solar power as back-up power to some specific facilities in the community, namely the Lawra Hospital, Municipal Police Command, and a stand-alone system to the Lawra Paramount Chief’s palace.
To this end, the President applauded VRA and Elecnor for their leadership and commitment to the welfare of the people of Lawra, and applauded them for delivering the project ahead of schedule, despite the challenges posed by Covid-19.
‘The Ghanaian people are very grateful to the German government for providing the €22 million funds for the project. I look forward to the early conclusion of the negotiations for the second phase of this project, whose discussions are currently ongoing,’ he concluded.
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