Green loan agreed for Bui hydro-solar plant

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Bui Power Authority secures groundbreaking $24m green loan for investment in and expansion of solar-hydro hybrid projects. 

Ghana is home to West Africa’s first floating solar farm – a 5MW facility floating on the reservoir of the Bui Hydropower Plant. New financing and ambitious plans will see that expand significantly. 

Recent years have seen an upgrade of transmission and control systems by the Bui Power Authority as it prepared the ground for a huge expansion of solar generation. This increased solar capacity will allow for 250MW of solar energy to be distributed, more than five times the country’s connected solar generating capacity before 2021. 

Efforts to raise solar energy as a compliment to hydro-power will see see most of that new capacity installed on land, but the floating solar farm will rise in capacity to around 65MW in the coming years, using two-directional solar panels to maximise energy generation at all times of day.  

Ghana’s energy expansion

Ghana is aiming to ensure universal energy access by 2025 and to have 10% of its energy needs met by renewable energy by 2030. 

One of the biggest challenges to achieving these aims, and subsequently achieving Net Zero by 2050, is that Africa has suffered a significant shortfall in infrastructure finance despite its extensive renewable energy capacity.

The move by Bui Power Authority to access finance through a green corporate loan may reflect a solution to that. Infrastructure investment markets have seen strong demand for green investments in recent years and, as a government backed energy agency, the combination of government-limited risk and green credentials may prove a model to be replicated.