Ghana celebrates its first Global Wind Day as over 500 students meet in Ayitepa to learn about wind energy
More than 500 students from local schools gathered at Ayitepa village to celebrate the first Global Wind Day on June 26, 2015. Wind farm developers NEK Umwelttechnik AG together with Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd. organised the event close to the site of the proposed 225MW Ayitepa Wind Farm which is on track to commence construction early next year.
During the course of the event, the students were given a presentation on the wind farm by NEK’s country manager, Mr Michael Wuddah-Martey, an overview of wind energy and they also heard from the Ghana Wildlife Society on conservation awareness. This is the second large-scale community event hosted by the wind farm developers. In February 2015, more than 300 community members attended a full day community engagement meeting to learn about the wind farm and agreed to cooperate in support of the project to bring the maximum benefits to the area.
Mr Francis Tsatsu Owulah, Community Liaison Officer for the project, opened the event with the following remarks: “Mr Chairman, Distinguished Invited Guests, friends of the media, ladies and gentlemen, kindly join us to make this day a celebration of what I termed ‘Dumsor is diminished with the coming in of Upwind Ayitepa Wind Farm?‘.“
He then continued: “Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, before I take my seat, please permit me to acknowledge the founder and CEO of NEK Umwelttechnik AG and NEK (Ghana) Ltd., who literally ‘gave birth to Upwind Ayitepa Wind Farm‘, Dr Christoph Kapp of Switzerland, and his hardworking team, especially the Country and Project Manager, Mr Michael Wuddah-Martey, and the Management of Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd., South Africa, Mr Chris Matthews, for their sponsorship of this celebration. We are indeed grateful to you all.”
Mr Michael Wuddah-Martey, who is working for NEK (Ghana) Ltd. as Ghana’s country manager since 2003 and who is behind the success of NEK’s wind story in the country, stated: “We are delighted that the local schools here in Ayitepa have attended in such high numbers to celebrate wind energy and learn about this wind farm and how it could help complement power generation sources in Ghana. We expect the wind farm to commence construction early next year and being the country’s first large-scale wind farm, we are very excited about the benefits it will bring to the local community here in Ayitepa and Ghana as a whole.”
Speaking at the Global Wind Day celebration, Mr John Tsikor, the District Chief Engineer of Ningo-Prampram, said: “As we celebrate this day, the grounds are also being prepared towards the con-struction of a wind farm here in Ayitepa. This project, when completed, will generate 225MW of electric power. This additional power will go a long way to alleviate the erratic power supply that we are now experiencing in our country (a.k.a. Dumsor Dumsor). So far, the support from this community towards the project has been very tremendous. We urge you all to continue to show your commitment towards the successful completion of this project.”
The District Chief Engineer further elaborates: “Ladies and Gentlemen, the benefits are enormous; the Assembly will ensure that our people benefit from employment opportunities available. We will also ensure that Upwind Ayitepa Ltd. lives up to its cooperate social responsibilities. The District Assembly is very grateful to the various clans and families who released together about 14,000 acres of land for this project. Even though the land is purposely for the wind park, farming activities can still go on to sustain the livelihood of the people.”
He then continued: “This project which is also the first of its kind in West Africa, will also serve as a tourist attraction when completed. This will not only generate additional income for the Assembly, but will also create job opportunities for the people of Ayitepa and its surroundings. As we celebrate this day, it is our utmost desire that a year from today, Upwind Ayitepa Ltd. would have delivered 225MW of electric power to the National Grid.”