Mainstream to build 225MW Ghana project

GHANA: Mainstream Renewable Power is to build a 225MW wind farm in Ghana after buying the pre-construction project from NEK Umwelttechnik.

Mainstream operates Africa's largest wind farm, Jeffreys Bay in South Africa
Mainstream operates Africa's largest wind farm, Jeffreys Bay in South Africa

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Mainstream will work with the Swiss developer until the Ayitepa project reaches financial close, which is expected in 2015. Mainstream then intends to manage construction as well as owning and operating the project through its lifetime.

The development, 40 kilometres from the capital Accra, is expected to require a total of $525 million and is due to go online in early 2016. All major permits have been secured, but grid and offtake agreements are yet to be finalised.

The wind farm, which is expected to be the country's first, will make up more than 10% of Ghana's installed electricity capacity, which currently stands at around 2GW.

Ghana's director of renewable energy, Wisdom Ahiataku-Togobo, said that the government has more than two years of wind-speed data from the area on the south-east coast where the project is being developed. He added that he expects this project to lead to the "acceleration" of wind development in the country.

The Renewable Energy Act 2011 introduced a feed-in-tariff for wind projects of GHS 0.32/kWh ($0.09/kWh) in order to encourage the development of wind energy in the country.

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