A multi-million dollar oil and gas company based on Ghana embarks on building a solar farm. The project is estimated to fully run in March 2019, with an energy supply of about 100 megawatts. The company is headed by a young female entrepreneur in her late forties, Salma Okonkwo, who is of the view point that Africa is an emerging market needing adequate electrical support in her industrialization and development.
Salma Okonkwo is one of few women who heads an oil and gas company in Africa with her UBI group being the first indigenous fully integrated petroleum company in Ghana and in west Africa. She expands her reach in the Ghanian energy territory by building an unprecedented solar power farm, which could be one of the largest in Africa what she has named “Blue Power Energy”.
Blue Power Energy’s objective is to render energy services to the general public by means of specializing in renewable energy. It focuses on Ghana and the sub-Saharan African economic growth by supplying a huge solar photovoltaic farm to power more than 60 percent of Ghana’s land area.
In a brief talk with Forbes, when asked about her thoughts on her success, the young entrepreneur said: ” I don’t stop when the door is being shut. I find a way to make it work. This is what has propelled my success.” Most multinational companies that come into Ghana do not seek to build infrastructures. They rather use a method that invest little and when departing they sell the products and quit. This is unfortunate! Okonkwo continued: “I am hoping to provide employment and add to Ghana’s economy.”
It was the entrepreneur’s observation that Africa is blessed with year round sunshine prominent on many of her nations yet solar power is shockingly not exploited on the continent. A few countries that have exploited the domain include Kenya, South Africa and recently Morocco which launched one of the world’s largest solar energy projects estimated at 9 billion US dollars to create over 2000 megawatts of solar energy by the year 2020.
To conclude, Blue Power Energy hopes to satisfy the national grid(Electricity transmission network) from a hundred percent renewable energy, thereby making cities more sustainable, reducing poverty, hunger, improving health and fighting climate change. Blue Power Energy has had the opportunity to cooperate with another giant called Puma Energy which consumed about 49 percent of Blue Power Energy’s brilliant ideas and this resulted further to Okonkwo’s determination in the feasibility of this project. Some thoughts on the project by Arne Jacobson, director of Humboldt State University Schatz Energy Research Center mentioned to Forbes, “I don’t know of another project like this in Africa led by a woman.” He added that power is relatively expensive in Ghana, thus this will be a profitable venture for Ghana, especially if Blue Power Energy can keep costs low. Many are looking up to the project as it is a new source of hope and inspiration for Africa, particularly Ghana within the context of renewable energy.