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Africa to Build Its Largest Solar Plant

Dec. 4, 2012
Blue Energy of Britain will build a 155 MW plant in Ghana.

LONDON -- British renewable energy firm Blue Energy announced Tuesday that it will build a solar power plant in Ghana which it claimed will become the biggest in Africa.

Blue Energy said the new plant could “spark a renewable energy revolution in West Africa."

The 155-megawatt Nzema plant, costing $400 million to build, will be fully operational in 2015. Blue Energy said there were currently only three other PV plants in the world that are bigger.

The plant will increase Ghana's current power generating capacity by 6% and will meet 20% of the government's target of generating 10% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

"There's huge potential to develop renewable power in the region. We believe Nzema will show other countries what can be achieved and then spur them to action," said Blue Energy chief executive Chris Dean.

The firm said it planned to develop further renewable energy power plants in west Africa and had "a number of projects in the pipeline."

The announcement comes after two German firms, Bosch and Siemens, said they were quitting the ambitious Desertec project to build solar power plants across North Africa and the Middle East, dealing a blow to Europe's clean energy plans.

Desertec aimed to generate some 15% of Europe's electricity consumption with solar and wind energy within the next 40 years.

The project was launched in 2009 by several German companies including Munich Re, Deutsche Bank, as well as energy giants E.ON and RWE. French, Italian and Spanish companies also took stakes in an initial investment of $525 billion.

Morocco is building a solar complex set to open in 2014 and will generate between 125 and 160 megawatts.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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