By Rachael Joan

The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund approved a $27.39 million grant to Ghana for the development of renewable energy investments in the mini grid and net metering space.

According to the press release, the project involves the development of 35 mini grids, 400 standalone solar photovoltaic systems in schools and 300 units in healthcare and community energy service centers in the Volta Lake region.

It will also deploy up to 12,000 units of roof-mounted net-metered solar photovoltaic systems for public institutions, small and medium-sized enterprises and selected households.

The project has leveraged co-financing from the Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Program, a funding window of the Climate Investment Funds, and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, amounting to $28.49 million and $13.30 million, respectively.

The Ghana Mini Grid and Solar Photovoltaic Net Metering is expected to have an annual electricity output of renewable energy estimated at 111,361 megawatts per hour (MWh), corresponding to an installed capacity of 67.5 megawatts (MW).

The project will also mitigate greenhouse emissions of 0.8 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent per year and create up to 2,865 jobs during construction, of which 30% will target women and youth.

Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, the African Development Bank Group’s Director General for West Africa, said: “The Bank Group’s support is aligned to Ghana’s development priorities that aim to promote and develop the country’s rich renewable energy resources for sustainable economic growth, improved social life and reduced adverse climate change effects. In addition, the post Covid-19 era has highlighted the importance of reliable energy services.”

Eyerusalem Fasika, the African Development Bank’s Country Manager for Ghana, said: “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. It has the potential to create jobs, fundamentally expand access to businesses and bring prosperity to Ghanaians.”

Furthermore the press release mentions Daniel Schroth, Acting Director of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Department. He noted that the West African nation of Ghana has one of the highest electrification rates in Africa.

“The approval of the grant facility reflects a strong commitment of the African Development Bank to support Ghana’s objective to achieve universal access to electricity and its 10% renewable energy target by 2030,” said Schroth.