TABCON Development Consultants, experts in the energy sector, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) towards the construction of a 65MW Hybrid-Hydro-Solar Renewable Energy facility that will feed into the electricity supply in the Bono Region.
This project is to promote value-added agriculture due to its irrigation component. It will also boost eco-tourism and nature conservation in the Region while creating increased local employment by accelerating the industrialization of the Tain and Wenchi districts, and the Bono Region at large.
The $85-million project initiated by TABCON Development Consultants and its partners, which include the German government and the Volta River Authority (VRA), is a large door opened for research that is expected to lead to more publications that will ensure that UENR achieves its target of 1,000 Scopus indexed journal articles.
The project comes in three main components, namely building a hybrid solar-hydro renewable energy farm, developing Eco-Tourism, Nature Conservation and Value-added Agriculture and lastly the development of the Nkoranza Regional Airport and “Aero City” for Tourism and Evacuation of Value-Added agricultural products to markets.
Speaking at the brief MoU signing ceremony in Sunyani, Vice-Chancellor of UENR Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako observed that the proposed project epitomizes the much-needed collaboration between industry and institutions of higher learning for the benefit of students.
“The collaboration between the University and TABCON ENERGY is just apropos because the two bodies’ lives revolve around energy. The University will provide all the research that would make this collaboration a living one. This technical project collaboration is the first of its kind between an academic institution and industry in the history of UENR and it must be applauded and appreciated,” Prof. Asare-Bediako said.
He added that that was also in direct consonance with Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 4 which calls for “ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.”
According to the Vice-Chancellor, the expected role of UENR’s technical expertise on this project is to provide technical knowledge to serve on the Joint Project Management Team on the TABCON Energy.
“Faculty will be expected to assist TABCON Energy in managing all technical feasibility, planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance phases of the project. It will also be a learning curve for staff,” he added
Some benefits of this project to UENR and the project-bearing community, Prof. Asare-Bediako states, are human resource identification, training, employment, and research as well as sourcing training in the areas of Sustainable Renewable Energy Generation and Management, Renewable Energy Storage Systems, Afforestation and Wildlife Programme.
Additionally, he indicated that the project will build a strong Research and Development in the Optimization of Solar/Hydro Power System, Energy Storage Systems and Value-Added Agriculture.
The CEO of TABCON Energy, Dr. Paul Kwaku Tabiri, for his part, expressed his happiness that the partnership has been solidified to kick start the project.
Dr. Tabiri noted that the partnership between TABCON Energy and the University of Energy and Natural Resources would boost the generational capacity of the country’s energy mix.
He added that it will also provide the platform for Ghana to know the generational benefits of the project.
He stressed that the project seeks to practicalize the staff’s expertise to build the dam, which would also create an opportunity for more research works and publications on the project based on the data that would be generated.
TABCON Energy is poised toward generating electrical power on the Tain River and its adjacent lands located in the Wenchi Municipal of the Bono Region of Ghana.
The University of Energy and Natural Resources has a full-blown School of Energy whose mandate is to spearhead research into energy and its related issues.
Since this project is geared toward the generation of electricity, UENR’s robust Electrical Engineering team is ready to work hand-in-hand with TABCON to see this project through.
In fact, this project encompasses several disciplines of UENR – from engineering, natural resource management through to environmental management. The UENR-TABCON collaboration is therefore one with solid foundations.