The Central University College has started using electricity generated from solar at its Miotso Campus at Dawhenya in the Greater Accra Region.
The project is a 401 kilowatt PV plant that was financed by ecoligo, a company that provides a fully financed, maintained solution to enable green technologies in Africa and other parts of the world. The company has its headquarters in Germany and has had an established branch in Ghana since 2017. The project was designed, built and is now being maintained by Yingli Namene West Africa through a partnership.
The total funds for the project were sourced from more than 409 people, who raised €445,000 through a crowdfunding process, said ecoligo’s Senior Marketing Manager, Ms Emma Patmore, in Accra. She explained that the company specialised in covering the upfront costs of solar projects by funding each project through its crowdfinancing platform, ecoligo.investments in Germany.
“Our customers pay for the use of their solar systems through a payment plan, which covers all maintenance and repair costs for the lifetime of the contract,” she said. “We also manage the installation and maintenance of each system in collaboration with our technical partners like Yingli Namene West Africa.
Ms Patmore remarked that ecoligo had a good track record in such projects across the world and Ghana in particular. She noted that it had provided similar services to several other companies in the country, including Marie Stopes, a nongovernmental organisation, Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited, Nyaho Medical Centre, Eden Tree Ghana Limited and Impact Hub Accra.
Ms Patmore revealed that ecoligo saw Ghana as a destination for investments and would continue to offer its unique services to interested firms in its quest to help them reduce cost by diversifying their energy mix. She mentioned “the potential that the economy has to grow and flourish, the enthusiasm and fantastic business partnerships we find here and the policies and regulatory environment that make it possible for us to develop solar projects here.”
The Vice Chancellor of the Central University College, Prof. Bill Buenar Puplampu, was optimistic that the project would help reduce the rising energy costs that the school was saddled with. He said estimate showed that the school would make some savings by using solar. Those savings, he noted, would be deplored into providing additional infrastructure for students over the lifetime of the project.
He thanked Ecoligo and Yingli Namene West Africa for the services rendered and advised other institutions to take a cue from Central University. He said as universities grapple with increasing cost of operations with its attendant effect on schools fees, initiatives such as the solar plant were sure ways to help contain the cost.
The Managing Director of Yingli Namene West Africa, Mr Firmin Nkamleu Ngassam, said the company was playing its role to promote the use of solar in Ghana. He said “We believe that the environment is suitable for solar energy” and pledged that the company would continue to do its best to make solar a first choice for companies seeking to reduce their energy costs. He said although the entire campus was not off the national grid, the university was prioritizing solar energy and that the project would help generate some savings for the university.