1000MW wave energy project nears take-off

Wholly-owned Ghanaian company TC’s Energy has signed a power purchase agreement with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to produce 1,000 megawatts of power from tidal waves by 2017.

The Executive Chairman of TC’s Energy, Anthony Opoku, has disclosed that the company’s Swedish counterpart, Seabased Wave Energy, has already held talks with key project stakeholders including the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo), the PSC Tema Shipyard, Sea Truck Group (STG) and the Ministry of Energy to finalise plans toward the project’s take-off.

He said TC’s Energy is currently expecting the first batch of equipment for installation at the project site at Ada in the Ada East district of the Greater Accra Region with test production scheduled to commence in December this year.

The test production, he said, will enable the company to ensure that the various connections and installations work perfectly before full production begins.

Discussions have also taken place between a team of engineers from TC’s Energy and GRIDCo on the initial evacuation of power to be generated by sea-waves to the national grid.

Inventor of the sea wave technology to be used in the power generation, Prof. Sigurd, is optimistic that the project will be a success in the country: “Unlike other jurisdictions where there is the tendency for extreme overloads, that is not the case for Ghana. The country’s climate is quite stable, and that makes this place unique for the technology.”

Prof. Sigurd also discussed with engineers from the ECG on the required specifications for equipment that will be used to ensure successful initial transmission of power through its lines by SWE into the national grid.

A consultant with GRIDCo, Prof. Francesco Iliceto, stated that GRIDCO can leverage its transmission lines to evacuate the power from the project into the national grid: “GRIDCo has transmission lines from Aflao to Cape Three Points, and so evacuating power from any part of the country to the national grid will not be a problem to them”.

GRIDCO also requested, as a matter of urgency, that TC’s Energy submit its project execution plan to enable it — GRIDCo — to offer the best advice in terms of power transmission through the grids.

The sea wave power project, which is the first in the country, has received strong backing from the ministries of Energy and Public-Private Partnerships.

Energy Minister Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, in a meeting with TC’s Energy and project stakeholders, said his ministry is ever-ready to back any company that intends to support government in its bid to improve the energy sector.

He pledged government’s support for the project and prayed that it will commence on schedule to help government meet its energy requirements as early as possible.

Current power generation at peak is about 1,770MW while demand is about 1,850MW — leaving a deficit of about 80MW.

Out of the country’s total installed capacity of 2,846.5MW, the VRA generates about 75 percent of it from hydro and thermal sources. The mix includes: VRA hydro, 47 percent; VRA thermal, 36 percent; VRA solar generation, 0.1 percent; IPP thermal generation 12 percent; and Bui hydro, 5 percent.

The country currently relies on about 1,600 megawatts of electricity out of a possible 2,845 megawatts, due mainly to fuel supply challenges and maintenance and expansion issues.

President John Mahama has promised to increase to 5,000 megawatts by 2016 the total generation capacity, a claim contested by industry-watchers who feel not much is happening to realise the dream.



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