The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has signed two grant agreements with Ghanaian energy companies for a sum total of $1.8 million, which will be put towards the advancement of 70MW of wind and biomass projects across the country.

USTDA grant allocations

USTDA’s Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Lida Fitts, said last week following the announcement: “Together, these projects have the potential to add 70 megawatts of renewable energy to Ghana’s grid and to power 140,000 households.”

According to the Agency, $899,995 has been committed to Village Corps Ghana Ltd for a biomass-to-power project in the Eastern Region.

“Village Corps has selected Recast Energy LLC (Richmond, Va.) to conduct a feasibility study for a giant bamboo farm and steam-based power plant, which has the potential to generate up to 20MW of clean, renewable energy,” the Agency said in a statement.

They added that: “The study will include an assessment of the available biomass and biomass logistics, a site recommendation, an interconnection study focusing on power evacuation to the grid, economic and financial analyses, and a project implementation plan. Recast Energy will also be conducting a comprehensive social and environmental impact assessment.”

Norman Beaulieu, Founder of Village Corps commented: “Village Corps is proud to lead this effort to help meet the energy needs of the Eastern Region in Ghana.

“We look forward to working with our partners and the communities of the Akyem Abuakwa Kingdom to develop this innovative clean energy facility.”

Development of wind

The second grant of $926,614 has been earmarked for eleQtra (West Africa) Ltd to develop a 50MW wind power project in the Greater Accra region.

“The grant supports technical assistance for the project’s technical design and engineering, including a bankable wind resource assessment. Specifically, the assistance will include the preparation of technical studies and reports to determine the energy production, topographical, geotechnical, grid interconnection and market characteristics of the project,” the Agency explained.

They added that it will also include the preparation of tender documents for the selection of the EPC contractor and long term service provider, as well legal support in the negotiation and execution of project and financing agreements.