Ghana’s first utility-scale wind farm finds new owner

Dublin-headquartered wind and solar company, Mainstream Renewable Power, has agreed to buy Ghana’s first utility-scale wind farm, currently being developed, from Swiss wind farm developer NEK Umwelttechnik.

The $525m deal sees Mainstream purchase the 225MW Ayitepa Wind Farm, located 40 kilometres from Accra on Ghana’s east coast, finish its construction and operate it.

Mainstream said the agreement would reach financial close next year and the wind farm would start generating power early in 2016. Until financial close, the two companies will co-develop the facility.

When fully operational the wind farm will generate approximately 10% of Ghana’s total electricity generation capacity, which currently stands at 2,000MW, Mainstream said in a statement.

The project is now in the latter stages of development with all major permits secured. Grid and offtake agreements are being finalised.

Commenting on the deal, Mr. Wisdom Ahiataku-Togobo, renewable energy director at Ghana’s Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, promised full government support.

"It is my hope," he said, "that this agreement between NEK and Mainstream will accelerate the process towards the realisation of wind farms in Ghana and they can be assured of the full support of the Ministry of Energy & Petroleum."

Mainstream’s chief executive Eddie O’Connor said: "This wind farm is the ideal solution for Ghana because the country needs large quantities of electricity and it needs it fast. Wind and solar power are the only proven technologies in the world today which can achieve the dual objectives of speed of deployment and scale. From initial concept to operation Mainstream has delivered utility-scale projects into operation in just over three years. The Ayitepa Wind Farm is well advanced and can be generating electricity in less than 18 months from now. No other generation technology can match that in terms of speed of delivery."

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