District CEO, Hon. Al-Hajj Sa Rhack Nartey calls for stakeholder co-operation to bring project into operation
More than 300 members of the local community, including clan leaders, gathered at Ayitepa village to meet with wind farm developers Mainstream Renewable Power and NEK Umwelttechnik to discuss the 225 megawatt wind farm which is expected to start construction this year. The full-day event included presentations on the project as well as an open forum for questions and answers. During the course of the day clan leaders and the wind farm developers agreed to cooperate in support of the project to bring the maximum benefits to the area.
Set to become Ghana’s first utility-scale wind farm, the Ayitepa project could power up to 10% of the country’s electricity demand when fully operational and is expected to start construction this year.
Hon. Al-Hajj Sa Rhack Nartey, District CEO for Ningo Prampram (pictured left) said: “The people in the various communities are very happy about this project because it will create employment and do some good for the area. The communities have attended this meeting with enthusiasm, commitment and interest.”
He continued: “So I appeal to all stakeholders to co-operate so this project will become very successful and bring benefits to the people in the community.”
Speaking at the community event Mainstream’s Development Manager for Africa, Liam Leahy (pictured right) said: “Getting to know the community, understanding their needs and answering their questions with honesty and transparency is vital part of what we do as a reputable international developer of wind and solar projects.”
He added: “Our company values of respect and teamwork are very much in evidence today as we work hand in hand with the community and clan leaders to bring real benefits to the area in terms of local jobs during the construction of the wind farm as well as longer-term socio-economic initiatives like the ones implemented at our Jeffreys Bay wind farm in South Africa.”
A large part of the day was dedicated to an open questions and answers session which included questions on where the wind turbines will be located. The developers explained that the wind farm has been designed in line with international best practice such Equator Principles and IFC Performance Standards. The project completed a detailed aerial drone survey of the region where all residential houses were identified and a 500m buffer has been applied between wind turbines and dwellings.
The wind farm developers will further engage with clan leaders and the local community members to identify local socio-economic initiatives which the wind farm can fund during its operational phase. Programmes discussed on the day related to a health facility, training & education programmes as well as improving the local electricity supply.
Further community engagement meetings will be held in the coming months prior to the start of construction as part of the Community Engagement Plan for the project.