In keeping with its policy to take the electric power to the remote areas of Africa, AUDA- NEPAD sent a mission comprising Prof Mosad Elmissiry, Senior Energy Advisor to the CEO and Prof Diran Makinde, Science and Technology Advisor to Ghana.
The purpose of the mission was to undertake both technical and financial appraisals of the micro-grid projects for two of the lake Volta islands, namely Okplama and Lala.
These islands are in the Sene District of Bono East Region about 450km north east of Accra. In addition to assessing the procurement process of the Ministry of Energy, the team visited the sites chosen for the installation of the micro grid solar system and established their communities’ involvement and participation in the projects.
It took about eight hours for the AUDA-NEPAD team to travel by road and ferry to reach the islands from Accra. On Okplama Island, there is a community of 1150 people that is mainly involved in fish processing, while on Lala Island there are five communities with 2811 people, also involved in fish processing as well as pig breeding.
There are no clinics or water purification facilities on the two islands .The communities are desperately awaiting the arrival of electricity to get involved in extra commercial activities.
The micro-grid project capacity for Okplama Island is 76KW and uses solar power to generate electricity with a low voltage distribution system, while on Lala Island it is of a total of 400kW for the five communities and also uses central solar power generation station, but with 11 kV transmission systems and five transformers, and low voltage distribution network at the load sites.
Inspection of the solar station sites for both islands showed that the choice of the sites is good. The sites are central to the load centres and they have flat grounds, which require minimum effort to clear and prepare for the installation of the station.
Community involvement and participation was also found to be quite strong.
“It has been established that the provision of electricity to both Okplama and Lala islands will have significant impact on community involvement,” Prof Elmissiry concluded.