June 27, 2014 - The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), in partnership with DCH Solargiga Company of Germany, has launched a 40MW solar energy plant to augment the national electricity grid to accelerate development in SADAs ecological zone. The 117-million-dollar project is a Public Private Partnership (PPP), under a joint venture of 90 percent and 10 percent respectively of DCH Solargiga and SADA.
Major (retired) Dr. Mustapha Ahmed, Minister of State in-Charge of Development Authorities, revealed this in Tamale on Thursday during a stakeholder's forum aimed at throwing more light on the technicalities and economic benefits of the project. "SADA began talks with DCH Energy of Germany in 2011, which culminated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in August 2012", he explained, and stressed that the purpose of the MOU was to establish the guidelines for collaboration between SADA and DCH Solargiga. He explained that based on the agreement, SADA secured a provisional license for energy production from the Energy Commission, while a comprehensive feasibility study and business plan were undertaken for the project.
Dr. Ahmed said legal opinion was sought from the Attorney-General's Department, on both the shareholder and joint venture agreement, adding that SADA had also requested for the PPP approval from its Approval Committee and the process was on-going. He assured the people that a lot of jobs would be created at the project site, with women being given priority, noting that a commercial area had been proposed near the major road network to facilitate settlement of local technical and infrastructural supplies.
The Minister said the joint venture, would also work closely with the University for Development Studies (UDS) to establish a new faculty of Alternative Energy and Environmental Protection for transfer of knowledge and skills.
Dr. Zhang Gang, Chief Executive Officer of DCH Solargiga said the company realized that solar was the most promising source of energy, and had over the years installed more than 100Gw around the world. He commended the President John Dramani Mahama for being instrumental in bringing the project to the Northern Region, which he described as a huge investment that would open a new door of development opportunities. Dr. Gang said the company was committed to constructing more solar projects in the country, including schools, hospitals and homes, to ensure that the country did not only meet its energy demands but had reserves.
Alhaji Limuna Mohammed-Muniru, Northern Regional Minister, urged investors to direct their attention towards the Northern parts of the country to take advantage of the project to develop factories that would increase business activities. He observed that the coming of the project would contribute greatly to agricultural productivity saying, "Let us take advantage of the project to expand agricultural productivity through irrigation farming."