Ghana to harness tidal energy to generate 1,000MW of power

tidalenergy-ianbalcombe-wikimediaAn underwater turbine will be placed in an area with strong tides at the Ada Estuary. (Image source: Ian Balcombe/Wikimedia Commons) The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is collaborating with a Swedish company TC Energy to generate 1,000MW of power by harnessing tidal wave energy from the Ada Estuary

According to officials from ECG, the Swedish firm has signed an agreement with ECG, to install a hydro power plant under the sea and utilise the strong tides generated at the Ada Estuary to generate power.

Tidal energy is created through the use of generators. Large underwater turbines, placed in areas with high tidal movements, are designed to capture the kinetic motion of the ebbing and surging of ocean tides to produce electricity.

George Marfo, manager of the ECG Training School, said this project was part of the electricity company’s decision to engage power producers to generate sufficient electricity for consumers and businesses across Ghana.

Marfo added that TC Energy will produce five megawatts of power by December 2014, and periodically upgrade its capacity by 200MW until it reaches the intended 1,000MW by 2016. Two other independent power producers, which have used the same technology to produce power on ships, have also been consulted to help generate 450MW of power for the project.

The technology involved in harnessing tidal wave power has been used in Peru, where the tides aren’t as strong as those at Ada Estuary. Marfo said that studies conducted near the estuary have confirmed that it is a suitable location to build an underwater hydro plant.

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