Ghana launches tender for renewable energy consultancy support

23 January 2018 4 min. read

As Ghana continues its quest for efficient energy sources, the country has applied for a loan to implement its Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Programme (SREP). The government has also launched a tender for assistance from consultants, mainly with social, economic, political and environmental impact assessments, and also with certain technical aspects of the project.

The power and energy sector in Ghana is in substantial debt, which is further compounded by the inefficiency of the country’s energy plants, which operate at only 50-65% of their capacity. In recent times, the government has been ramping up efforts to restructure the sector.

Late last year, the Volta River Authority, a public sector entity that produces thermal energy in Ghana, offloaded $2 billion worth of thermal assets to the private sector to cope with inefficiency. Now, the government has set things in motion to implement the SREP, which deals primarily with demonstrating the social, economic, and environmental feasibility of renewable energy models.

To help with implementation, the government has filed a loan application with major multi-lateral development agencies such as the Climate Investment Fund, the African Development Bank (ADB), which has also been chosen to lead the project, and the International Finance Corporation.   

Once the funds are secured, the SREP Project Implementation Unit for the Ministry of Energy anticipates the need for expertise and assistance, for which it has suggested the allocation of a portion of the loan to fund consulting contracts. Tenders for the consulting projects have already been launched.

Ghana launches tender for renewable energy consultancy support

The consulting projects largely revolve around generating specific reports on the socio-economic impact of the program, specifically mini-grid and stand-alone solar PVs electrification systems. In concrete terms, the selected consulting firm will produce an impact assessment report for 55 island/lakeside communities for mini-grids, and 600 households in 30 sparsely-populated communities for stand-alone electrification.

On the technical side of activities, consulting services will be required to develop a net-metered solar PV system with backup storage. This involves developing a net-metering program, deploying 15,000 units of roof-mounted solar PV systems at the very least, and consequently adding 25-30MW of capacity to the generation mix.

The benefits of such a plant include the possibility for businesses to generate their own power during a power cut, allowing them to operate without interruption. Surplus power in such a scenario can be transported to the grid, thereby relieving the grid and simultaneously reducing the cost of power. The roof-mounted solar units will further reduce costs for households and small businesses.

In its tender, the ministry calls for an experienced firm with a demonstrated capacity to handle such an assignment. No doubt, major players in the consulting industry will rush to capitalise on the big-money project, as they recently did in Morocco for two public sector contracts. The two contracts, which involved operational optimisation for the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and the preparation of a population register for the Ministry of Interior, were both won by Big Four professional services firm PwC, despite competition from other Big Four firms such as EY and KPMG, as well as McKinsey & Company and Roland Berger.