Illuminating minds with solar power
Financing sustainable development: How Ghana’s Maritime University benefits from a modular solar farm provided by GCPF portfolio company REDAVIA.
Owned by the Republics of Cameroon, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the Regional Maritime University (RMU) is an international tertiary institution located in Accra, Ghana. As an institution of higher learning, RMU is investing in the future of Ghana by imparting knowledge and training to Ghana’s youth. Launched it as a full university in October 2007, the overall objective for its establishment was to promote regional cooperation in the maritime industry focusing on training to ensure its sustained growth and development.
With a laboratory complex, a welding and fabrication center, simulation rooms, air conditioning, and lighting loads, RMU’s campus in Accra has a peak load of 450 kVA. The major electricity consumption is during weekdays while consumption reduces to 25% over weekends. To supply this load, RMU uses a main electricity grid connection with special load tariff SLT-LV and additionally keeps a backup diesel generator set with a rated capacity of 550 kVA.
With this considerable electricity demand, RMU’s utility bill was taking up a significant portion of the university’s operating budget. In order to reduce electricity costs, RMU sought a cost-saving solution that would allow them to invest the money saved on electricity into other aspects of the university, such as expanded curriculum and training in order to provide the best possible university setting for students at an affordable cost.
To meet the challenge, RMU teamed up with GCPF portfolio company REDAVIA, a pioneer in deploying pre-configured solar systems to commercial and industrial clients. The REDAVIA solar farm consists of high-performance solar modules and high-quality electrical components. It is easy to ship, set up, scale and redeploy. Flexible lease agreements allow customers a cost-effective, reliable and clean energy solution with just a minimal upfront investment, and operational adaptability to market changes.
About REDAVIA (redaviasolar.com)
REDAVIA offers solar power for businesses and communities – with a regional focus on East and West Africa. The REDAVIA solar farm is based on a pre-configured system, including high-performance solar modules and high-quality electrical components. It is easy to ship, set up, scale and redeploy. Businesses and communities benefit from a cost-effective, reliable and clean energy solution with minimal upfront investment and no technical skills required, supporting the reduction of carbon emissions and increasing the impact on a sustainable society.
In November of 2017, REDAVIA implemented an 86 kWp plant on the university campus. Following the successful first phase of the project, REDAVIA deployed an additional 181 kWp in April of 2018, quickly followed by still further 168 kWp in October of 2018, bringing the total RMU solar farm to 435 kWp.
RMU immediately saw significant monthly savings through this introduction of REDAVIA’s clean, reliable energy. In addition to cost-savings, REDAVIA offers RMU operational convenience by providing regular maintenance and 24/7 technical monitoring to ensure the solar farm runs smoothly.
Significant energy savings
From deployment through March 2019, the REDAVIA solar farm at RMU has generated more than 450 MWh and a CO2 reduction of 197 tonnes. Over the lease term of the plant, it is projected to generate more than 7200 MWh while reducing CO2 emissions by an estimated 3098 tonnes.
tonnes of annual CO2 reductions
More good to come
As a stated goal of the Ghanaian government, carbon reduction is a milestone achievement for the university. By implementing this solar solution, RMU accomplished its primary objective: Significant savings on electricity. In addition, REDAVIA’s cost-effective leasing business model made it possible for RMU to turn their solar ambitions into reality despite the university’s tight budgetary constraints.
Additionally REDAVIA’s lease-to-own contract will transfer ownership of the solar farm asset to RMU after 12 years. RMU is taking the opportunity to reinvest the savings from reduced electricity costs in an expanded curriculum and training, using the solar farm as a technology showcase.
Educating for the future
With the implementation of REDAVIA’s solar farm, RMU is taking advantage of the partnership to educate its students about the importance and potential of renewable energy.
REDAVIA is working with RMU to introduce and establish the REDAVIA Solar Lab, which will support RMU’s newly accredited ‘Renewable Energy Engineering’ curriculum, enabling the university to complement its Master of Science degree with hands-on, practical training.
The Solar Lab aims to educate and prepare students for engineering jobs in the renewable sector, ensuring ongoing, sustainable development in Ghana and the four other Member States of RMU.
Professor Elvis Nyarko, Vice Chancellor at RMU, stated, “Our partnership with REDAVIA has been strong and fruitful so far, and we are looking forward to jointly taking the next steps.”