Inside Ghana’s first module manufacturing facility (2023)

Editors' Blog, Features

By Tom Kenning

Companies, , Inverters, Manufacturing, , Materials, Modules, Power Plants, Storage


(Video) S01 E10 - SOLAR PV Manufacturing in Ghana

Inside Ghana’s first module manufacturing facility (1)

For a country that caps solar energy project sizes to just 20MW and only had its first major utility-scale project come online this year, Ghana's announcement of a 30MW module manufacturing facility outside the capital city of Accra turned more than a few heads this year.

The factory and equipment alone cost nearly US$10 million, but with the site, buildings and support infrastructure included it required US$30-50 million total investment while marking a major step forward for solar manufacturing in Africa.

PV Tech went to visit the factory, which was developed by Accra-based developer Strategic Power Solutions (SPS), a subsidiary of Strategic Security Systems International (3SIL), an independent Ghanaian conglomerate specialising in the procurement of solar products.

3SIL started out in the solar industry by procuring and installing solar street lights, before looking to branch into local production and various other applications of solar technology. While the firm has begun with engineering solar panels, it also aims to produce energy storage batteries and inverters in Ghana in the future.

Inside Ghana’s first module manufacturing facility (2)

“We want to be able to play on the international field so anything that we do has to be of world class quality at competitive global pricing,” says Jacob Obeng, SPS assistant production manager, as we travel east from Ghana’s capital Accra towards the solar facility. “China does a whole lot more to support its indigenous businesses and other countries even have tax free incentives that reduce the cost burden on businesses. Ghana is still evolving and one of the main issues is the cost of financing. It is unreasonably high here in Ghana – anywhere between 20-30%. That is really probably the biggest drawback in investing in business in an environment like this.”

Inside Ghana’s first module manufacturing facility (3)

To date, SPS and 3SIL have been completely privately financed and they have 100% equity in the company and its subsidiary with no debt, but they are looking to find cheaper ways of financing their operations.

“We are looking for operating capital to pre-finance certain aspects of our operation and also to give us an advantage in terms of dealing with our distributors, who may not be as well capitalised,” adds Obeng.

Inside Ghana’s first module manufacturing facility (4)

The site currently has two laminators, one automatic stringing machine and one layer machine capable of 30MW per year on three shifts, but by adding two more laminators and a stringing machine, the facility could reach another 30MW with further room to optimise at around 80MW.

This is the first PV manufacturing plant in Ghana and with the exception of two plants in South Africa and another in Kenya, it stands out as a pioneering project in Sub-Saharan Africa, adds Khurram Bahar Khan, SPS general manager.

(Video) World's First GW-Scale Lightweight PV Module Manufacturing Base

Inside Ghana’s first module manufacturing facility (5)

“We are getting the channel partners, JV partners, as well as getting the MoUs internationally,” says Khan. “The people are rushing to West Africa globally right now. There are challenges everywhere but the level of challenge is decreasing as the number of companies increases.”

When asked how SPS plans to compete with cheap Chinese solar module imports to Africa, Khan says that quality is the key differential that will allow the company to make headway.

Inside Ghana’s first module manufacturing facility (6)

The road approaching the facility just outside Tema, in a major industrial zone, is lined with solar streetlamps marking the way to the standout high-tech building in an otherwise dusty and factory-heavy horizon. Square solar modules line every window on the front face of the offices and the plant also is home to a 50kW PV system that supplies energy to the grid, with designs to install a 100kW system, which will eventually power the entire factory and negate the occasional need to use a backup diesel generator.

Inside Ghana’s first module manufacturing facility (7)

Inside Ghana’s first module manufacturing facility (8)

The land in Tema is cheaper than in Accra and there are some tax incentives to set up business operations, particularly manufacturing outside the Accra enclave, says Obeng. As a result the whole company has been relocated.

The factory produces PV modules but also provides off-grid components, PV systems, and installation products including both micro and macro solar grid systems.

Obeng says the plant is offering both poly and mono modules, with sizes of 150W typically for street lights, 250W for rooftop homes, and then 300W for utilities and large-scale rooftop applications.

“That is the limit of our electrical tester right now, but we hope to upgrade to be able to go up to 450W,” adds Obeng. “With the cells that are being produced right now, we can get cell efficiencies up to 20% and that could actually give you peak wattage upwards of 320-340W.

“We ultimately hope by the end of the year to upgrade our tests so we can get to that peak wattage.”

Inside Ghana’s first module manufacturing facility (9)

Equipment for the plant was supplied by many notable international PV players. Boostsolar China, a high-tech automation enterprise, provided N.2 laminators that used thermal oil technology. Similarly, NPC Japan contributed a visual inspection trimming station, framing station and both a flash tester and EL tester. Italy’s Panamac supplied automatic film and ribbon cutters.

The raw material is the single most expensive component in the cost of making the panels, with the bulk of it coming from China. The other major raw material is the EVA ethylene vinyl acetate, which is sourced from an Italian company. The aluminium frames are also coming from China.

“We are selling the whole panel ready to be installed,” says Obeng. “The process is relatively simple – we have the cells – we string them together with copper ribbons to make them electrically active and then we lay them up to form the panel size we want.”

Once the encapsulation process is done to ensure the cells are not exposed to the elements such as rain, moisture and temperature fluctuation, the panel is nearly ready. It then requires trimming the edges and securing the frame.

Following that, the workers carry out electrical testing and a visual reliability test, utilising a sun simulator to test the efficiency performance of the modules. Once ready the company guarantees the PV modules for a minimum 20-25 years lifetime.

Inside Ghana’s first module manufacturing facility (10)

Inside Ghana’s first module manufacturing facility (11)

Although it would take just one or two major solar projects in Ghana to take up the full capacity of the plant's production, SPS is not limiting itself to this market and it is also looking at the wider sub-region of West Africa for customers.

Obeng says: “There are incentives and reduced tax burdens on manufacturers in Ghana so we set up to try and qualify for all those exemptions and if we are able to get all those exemptions then we will be very competitive.”


SPS is also trying to qualify as a strategic investor for the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), which gives firms a blanket of incentives, including reduction in import duties. However to achieve this, companies must demonstrate an investment of over US$50 million in their venture.

The firm is also looking at battery-based energy storage for home systems and build-ins rather than for the utility-scale sector.

Inside Ghana’s first module manufacturing facility (12)

The firm will also soon launch an inverter manufacturing facility in Ghana, adds Khan, with batteries to be manufactured in the same building. Furthermore the company is planning to open another facility in China.

Khan says: “The Ghanaian market appreciates us. We are the pioneer and the pioneer always stays. We are also looking for JV partners from Europe especially.”

The African solar energy market is in its infancy and even more so with manufacturing, but SPS’s hub is a major milestone for the region and its state-of-the-art appearance makes a powerful statement about what can be achieved in Africa without the need to import panels.

Inside Ghana’s first module manufacturing facility (13)

Inside Ghana’s first module manufacturing facility (14)

Subscribe to PV Tech Premium to Access

3sil, accra, aluminium, eva, eva encapsulant, ghana, import, inverters, modules, sps, storage, strategic power solutions, tema, west africa

Read Next

Subscribe to Newsletter

(Video) Think big: Cars "made in Ghana" | Africa on the Move

Most Read

Upcoming Events

(Video) Hyundai, KIA To Establish Assembly Plants In Ghana


Who owns SPS Ghana? ›

SPS was founded by the Board of Strategic Security Systems International Limited (3Sil) Group, an independent services conglomerate already active on the Ghana Solar market.

Which solar manufacturing plant is in Ghana? ›

Nzema Solar Power Station is a 155 megawatts (208,000 hp) solar power plant, under construction in Ghana. When completed as expected in 2017, the power station will be the largest solar power installation on the African continent.

Where is JA Solar manufactured? ›

JA Solar was established in May 2005 and commenced commercial operations in April 2006 by starting the first solar cell manufacturing line in Hebei province. The Corporate Headquarters is located in Shanghai, China with current manufacturing facilities located in Ningjin, Hebei Province and Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province.

What is SPS ownership? ›

SPS is an Employee Owned Company (ESOP) and has been since 1989. Our employees have a vested interest in SPS, which leads to greater motivation and productivity as they are really “owners” rather than “employees”.

How many employees does SPS Commerce have? ›

SPS Commerce has 1,572 employees.

What is the biggest solar plant in Africa? ›

Welcome to Benban, Egypt, home to the largest solar park in Africa. It spans 37 kilometres and has a total generation capacity of around 1.8 gigawatts, which is enough to power hundreds of thousands of homes.

Who is the fastest growing solar company? ›

Daqo New Energy Corp.

Daqo is a Chinese company that manufactures polysilicon, a key raw material used to build solar panels. Among the solar companies analyzed in our research, Daqo has the highest three-year annualized earnings per shares (EPS) and sales growth metrics.

Who is the largest manufacturer of solar cells? ›

Trina Solar is a leading global solar panel manufacturer with over 25 years of experience in the industry. It is headquartered in China, with manufacturing facilities worldwide, including in Europe and the United States. Trina Solar has an annual capacity of over 100 GW.

Who is the largest US manufacturer of solar panels? ›

First Solar, the largest U.S. based solar manufacturer, is based in Ohio and is currently expanding its factory south of Cleveland towards a goal of 11 GW of U.S. production capacity by 2026.

Are any solar cells made in the USA? ›

Solaria. Solaria is based in Fremont, California, and manufactures its solar panels both in the United States and in South Korea.

Are any solar inverters made in USA? ›

Solectria provides commercial 3-phase commercial inverters ranging from 25kW to 60kW, and 3-phase utility-scale inverters ranging from 125kW to 250kW. All of the SOLECTRIA XGI inverters and string combiners are made in the USA with global components, and are compliant with the Buy American Act (BAA).

Is SPS a private company? ›

SPS Technologies is a private company.

What kind of company is SPS? ›

Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc.

(SPS) is a loan servicing company founded in 1989 as Fairbanks Capital Corp. with operations in Salt Lake City, Utah and Jacksonville, Florida.

What type of company is SPS? ›

Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. (SPS) is an industry leading mortgage servicer.

Is SPS a public company? ›

SPS Commerce went public on April 22, 2010.

Who founded SPS Commerce? ›

SPS Commerce
IndustryTechnology – application software
FounderGary W Anderson
HeadquartersMinneapolis, Minnesota , United States
7 more rows

Where is SPS Technologies headquarters? ›

SPS Technologies is headquartered in Jenkintown, 301 Highland Ave, United States, and has 4 office locations.

Which African country is best for solar energy? ›

South Africa had the largest solar energy capacity in Africa as of 2021, reaching over six gigawatts. This corresponded to roughly 54.6 percent of Africa's total solar energy capacity that year.

What are the Big 5 Africa's fastest growing solar energy markets? ›

According to IRENA, last year's growth was mainly driven by five specific countries: Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Namibia and Ghana.

Which country has the largest solar farm? ›

1. Golmud Solar Park — China. The Golmud Solar Park in China is the world's largest solar farm with an installed solar capacity of 2.8 GW, putting it just above the second entry in our list. It's a hugely impressive site with nearly seven million solar panels all working to deliver clean energy.

Who is the number 1 producer of solar panels? ›

The top three global manufacturers by solar panel shipment capacity in gigawatts (GW) in 2022 are LONGi, Trina Solar, and Jinko Solar. Most solar panels are manufactured in China, but some companies in Canada and the U.S. are gaining traction.

What solar company did Bill Gates invest in? ›

Bill Gates-backed fund invests in automated utility-scale solar installation platform. Terabase Energy raised $44 million in funding round, supporting digital and robotic platform for building utility-scale solar power plants.

What solar company is most profitable? ›

Largest Solar Companies Research Summary

The largest solar company in the U.S. is NextEra Energy, with a revenue of $20.956 billion and an market share of 2.37%. As of 2022, the U.S. solar industry has a market size of $12 billion.

What country makes the best solar panels? ›

China has proved its supremacy in solar panel production by producing two-thirds of global solar modules. Moreover, all major solar panel producers have production facilities in China.

What is the fastest growing solar company in America? ›

Fastest Growing Solar Stocks
Price ($)EPS Growth (%)
Altus Power Inc. (AMPS)5.07600.0
Brookfield Renewable Corp. (BEPC)33.84633.0
Daqo New Energy Corp. (DQ)44.00156.0
Apr 7, 2023

Which is the largest solar cell farm? ›

Bhadla Solar Park is the largest solar farm in the world. The facility, spanning over an area of 14000 acres, is located in the Jodhpur district of Rajasthan. The solar farm has a capacity of 2.25 GW and required an estimated investment of over 1.3 billion dollars.

Where is the biggest solar farm in the US? ›

Solar Star is the largest solar farm in USA and one of the biggest in the world. This plant boasts 1.7 million solar panels distributed across 13 square kilometers in Los Angeles and Kern counties in California.

What is the top solar company in the USA? ›

The Best Solar Companies of June 2023. We've ranked our top picks for solar installation companies based on our detailed methodology and extensive research, and SunPower, Sunrun and ADT Solar scored the highest.

Can the US be powered by solar panels? ›

You only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States…. The batteries you [would] need to store the energy, so you have 24/7 power, is 1 mile by 1 mile. One square-mile.”

What percentage of US solar panels are made in China? ›

A report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that China also manufactures over 80% of all solar cells and assembled solar panels. The country produces virtually all the wafers used for solar panels.

What percentage of solar panels are Made in the USA? ›

The United States produces just 5 percent of global polysilicon supply, practically 0 percent of wafers, 1 percent of solar cells, and only 6 percent of solar modules.

How many solar manufacturers are in the United States? ›

There are 11,268 Solar Panel Installation businesses in the US as of 2023, an increase of 1.5% from 2022.

Who are the largest solar equipment distributors in the USA? ›

CED Greentech is the nation's leading distributor of solar equipment and installation supplies. Leveraging over 70 years of history, CED Greentech locations across the country are prepared to service any type of solar project you may have.

Who are the shareholders of Ghana Grid Company Limited? ›

Established in December 2006 as the Independent Transmission System Operator, GRIDCo is wholly owned by the Government of Ghana.

Who owns Ghana News Agency? ›

The Ghana News Agency (GNA) is a Ghanaian state-owned news agency that was founded in 1957 by Kwame Nkrumah.

Who owns Lexta Ghana Limited? ›

Martin Brobbey - CEO - Lexta Ghana Limited | LinkedIn.

Who is the director of Ghana Publishing Company? ›

Mr Asante, under the guidance of the Board of Directors has performed his duties without bias. He has exhibited a high sense of professionalism and integrity in managing the Company, eschewing any form of partisanship.

Who is the CEO of GRIDCo Ghana? ›

Mr Ebenezer Essienyi, Chief Executive.

How many companies are listed in Ghana? ›

The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) is the principal stock exchange of Ghana. The exchange was incorporated in July 1989 with trading commencing in 1990. It currently lists 42 equities (from 37 companies) and 2 corporate bonds.

Who is the chairman of GRIDCo Ghana? ›

A delegation from GRIDCo led by the Board Chairman Amb. Kabral Blay Amihere paid a courtesy call on, H. E. Former President John Agyekum Kufour in December 2022.

Who owns tv3 Ghana? ›

Media General Ghana Limited

What is Ghana largest newspaper? ›

The Ghanaian Chronicle
TypeDaily newspaper

Who owns the biggest news agencies? ›

These 15 Billionaires Own America's News Media Companies
  • Michael Bloomberg – Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Media. ...
  • Rupert Murdoch – News Corp. ...
  • Donald and Samuel “Si” Newhouse - Advance Publications. ...
  • Cox Family – Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ...
  • Jeff Bezos – The Washington Post. ...
  • John Henry – The Boston Globe.
Jun 1, 2016

Who owns Starlight Ghana? ›


Who owns Yazz Ghana? ›

Lexta Ghana Ltd. Producer of Yazz Products and Hooch foods.

Who is the CEO of Micheletti Ghana? ›

Ernest Taricone - Managing Director - Micheletti & Co Ltd.

What does a CEO of a publishing company do? ›

You are the owner or chief executive officer of your publishing company and are responsible for every part of the daily operations, from selecting manuscripts to managing the finances.

Who is the best author in Ghana? ›

Kofi Anyidoho is a Ghanaian poet and academic. He attended the University of Texas and has received many awards for his good works including the BBC arts and Africa Poetry award, The Valco Fund Literary award, and more. Other authors worth mentioning, both old and upcoming are; Akosua Busia.

What is a gazette in Ghana? ›

Public Place of Worship and License for the celebration of Marriage, Appointment of Marriage Officers, Incorporation / Commencement of Companies, Dissolution of Companies, etc.


1. Ghana's New Car: First locally made car being manufactured
(TRT World)
2. Ghana 🇬🇭 1D1F: Good Roll Factory Constructs €5.17m Bamboo Toilet Paper Factory #BuildingTogether
(Ghana Korea TV)
3. Why The European Market BAN Vegetables From Ghana But Now Leading in Green House Farming Tech
(AS 1)
4. African Champion: Francis Akuamoah Boateng - the founder of Ghana's first solar panel plant
(Africa Global Radio)
5. Fool's Gold: Inside Ghana's Million Dollar Scamming Syndicates | REWIND
(Al Jazeera English)
6. How Ghana Plans to Earn $15 Billion From Plant Crops Exportations to Compete Côte d'Ivoire with PFJ
(AS 1)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Mr. See Jast

Last Updated: 22/09/2023

Views: 6305

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (75 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Mr. See Jast

Birthday: 1999-07-30

Address: 8409 Megan Mountain, New Mathew, MT 44997-8193

Phone: +5023589614038

Job: Chief Executive

Hobby: Leather crafting, Flag Football, Candle making, Flying, Poi, Gunsmithing, Swimming

Introduction: My name is Mr. See Jast, I am a open, jolly, gorgeous, courageous, inexpensive, friendly, homely person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.