A state of the art solar energy system is powering RAF’s office in Accra

Thu, 09/04/20

Did you know? Since October, a new photovoltaic system has been steadily producing energy at RAF. The inauguration of this solar energy system is the first in many steps to reduce the carbon footprint of the regional office, and is part of a commitment to bold climate action, in line with the UN greening the blue initiative and the FAO Corporate Environmental Responsibility Policy and Strategy 2017-2020.

The inauguration of the 320-panel, 105kW system took place in the presence of heads of UN agencies, the media, ambassadors, and the Deputy Minister for Agriculture in Ghana, Kennedy Osei Nyarko. Abebe Haile Gabriel (ADG RAF), called on the other FAO representatives present and UN agencies to follow RAF’s lead by moving towards renewable sources of energy. Rolhi Salomon (RAF), who supported the project in Accra, believes that “an inauguration ceremony with the presence of government ministers and ambassadors sent a strong message outside FAO of the need to invest resources in green projects to significantly reduce our environmental impact”.

The solar energy system not only reduces the carbon footprint by saving roughly 40 000 kg of CO2 eq per year (the equivalent of nine cars driven for a year) it is also cost-effective. The 320 solar panels can produce up to 40 percent of the office’s electricity needs in ideal conditions with projected savings of 30 000 USD a year!

   

  

Michael Nor-Matey (CIO) explained that “the smart technology uses the sun, a crucial resource and largely available in Africa, as a source to reduce the carbon footprint of the office and has already enabled to witness visible costs reduction after two months of activity”. Claudia Broderick (FAORAF) who collaborated in the solar panel system installation noted, “The system will contribute to the office business continuity because it can automatically switch from grid to generator during periods of national electricity power outages”.

With a projected lifespan of about 20 years, the system is sustainable and economical, cutting down energy costs and potentially turning a profit with the necessary systems in place. Through this bold step, Tina Mittendorf (CSDI) hopes, “this will be an example for other offices.”

Categories: Buildings, Energy, Leadership