At 30th of November Cargill inaugurated their new solar power facility at their Cocoa & Chocolate site in Tema, Ghana. This energy project contributes to Cargill’s global strategy of investing in environmentally friendly, renewable ways of generating power for industrial production. By investing in renewable energy, Cargill is living up to its responsibility to find ways to continuously decrease the environmental impact of its businesses.
Solar plant to boost renewable energy capacity
The new solar plant, which opened its doors today during an event at the Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate site in Tema, is a fully automated, digital photovoltaic solar system. It augments energy needs at the site and boosts Ghana’s renewable energy portfolio by producing 764MWh of electricity annually. The solar energy produced at the plant is equivalent to powering nearly 400 homes with electricity for a year.
Sustainable business goals
The solar project consolidates Cargill’s continued support towards a sustainable cocoa business in Ghana. Pieter Reichert, managing director of Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate in Ghana, said, “Cargill sets ambitious targets every five years to reduce greenhouse gas intensity, improve energy efficiency and increase renewables as a part of our portfolio. One of those targets is to increase renewables to 18 percent of our global energy portfolio by 2020. Today, 14 percent of our energy needs are met by renewables, and this solar project will help us realize our 2020 goal”.
Continued progress in Tema
The solar facility is just one of the innovative and technological solutions Cargill has implemented at the Tema site to improve its environmental footprint. Other recent projects include the installation of LED lighting, an energy-efficient grinding facility and a biomass boiler. Collectively, all four projects at the Tema sites have resulted in a 32 percent decrease in energy consumption, a 71 percent reduction of CO2 emissions and 66 percent renewable energy generation.
Collaboration with Ghanaian government
Thanks to close collaboration with the Ghanaian authorities, including President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who commissioned the facility, the plant allows Cargill to support Ghana’s commitment to strengthening industrial production in the cocoa sector through a sustainable and energy-efficient investment. Guest of honor at the inauguration event, Minister for Energy, Hon. Boakye Agyarko Kyeremanteng, spoke at the ceremony, “The government is committed to increasing the nation’s renewable energy generation capacity and is hopeful that others in the Ghanaian cocoa industry will follow Cargill’s lead.”
About the installation
The contractor of the project, Dutch & Co.(Gh.) Ltd, a company that specializes in energy efficiency through LED lighting and PV Solar installations, divided the installation capacity over an open field ground mount system of 413KWp and a Car Port system of 152KWp. In total, 2,136 solar panels were used, each with a capacity of 265Wp. To install the ground mount structure, a specialized Pile Driver provided the supporting structure for the panels, a technique most often used often for large-scale solar installations. The installation’s peak power generation period is between 11am and 3pm, during which period 15 percent of Tema’s electricity needs will be supplied by the solar panels.