The rising cost of electricity has been a huge constraint to research activities at the CSIR-Crops Research Institute in recent times resulting mainly from the high amounts of power needed to run the ultra-modern laboratories and other facilities at the Institute.
With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through its CAY-seed project, a 200 kilowatt photovoltaic solar energy plant has been installed at the Institute. It is expected that this will reduce considerably the cost of electricity.
Commissioning the project on Thursday, March 7, 2019, the outgoing Director of the CSIR-CRI, Dr. Stella A. Ennin noted that, until 2014, the Institute was not directly paying electricity bills because the Government of Ghana was footing such bills. However, after 2014, Government ceded that responsibility to the Institute.
“Out of about GHC 1.87 million for 2015-2017, we were able to pay GHC 1.6 million and it was at this point, coupled with frequent power cuts that, the idea of the solar system was nurtured”, she said.
The installation of the system in May 2018, she said has resulted in a reduction of between 30 to 50 per cent per month in the electricity bills of the Institute.
She appreciated Government's intervention in reducing the Institute’s electricity tariffs in 2018 but appealed to Government for a complete waiver of the remaining 50 per cent electricity cost for the Institute to enable the efficient running of laboratories and equipment in the pursuit of their mandate to improve on food security and livelihoods in Ghana.
She commended the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for their institutional support.
Dr Abu Sakara Foster, Chairman of the Management Board of CSIR-CRI, was full of praise for Dr. Ennin for contributing positively to the Institute and called on others to emulate her legacy.
Side View of Installation
Inside View Showing Distribution Board
Front View of Installation
Dr. Abu Sakara Forster unveiling the plaque during the commissioning