First micro hydropower plant completed in Ghana

21 November 2019

The Bui Power Authority (BPA) has announced the completion of the 45kW Tsatsadu generating station in Ghana’s Volta region, the first micro hydropower plant in the country.

Located at the Tsatsadu Waterfalls in the Hohoe District, the plant has the potential to add a further 45kW in the future. The run-of-river scheme consists of a concrete diversion weir, an intake structure, diversion channel, a forebay, 300mm diameter steel penstock, a powerhouse and a transmission line..

In 2005 Ghana’s Ministry of Energy entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and International Network on Small Hydro Power of China (IN-SHP) to undertake studies to develop the existing small hydro power potentials in the country. The Tsatsadu Waterfalls, located at Alavanyo Abehenease in the Hohoe District of the Volta Region, was selected to be developed as a pilot project. UNIDO subsequently donated a 30kW Turgo Turbine and associated electromechanical equipment for the project. The Ministry of Energy appointed the Bui Power Authority in 2016 to develop the project on its behalf. BPA then reviewed all available information on the project. This included site assessment surveys, detailed topographical surveys and the development of engineering drawings for the project.

The electromechanical equipment donated by UNIDO were retrieved from the Volta River Authority (VRA) and serviced. The project, which was initially designed as a 30kW stand-alone system, was upgraded to a 45kW grid-connection system. A new 45kW capacity A-synchronous generator and new load controller were therefore procured to replace the existing 30kW generator and load controller.

The Ministry of Energy directed the BPA to constitute a technical committee to implement the project. The committee comprised representatives of the Renewable and Alternate Energy Directorate of the Ministry of Energy; the Energy Commission; the United Nations Development Program – Renewable Energy Technology Transfer (UNDP-RETT) Project Implementation Unit and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

Other stakeholders involved in the project were the Alavanyo Traditional Council, the Foyer de Charité (a Roman Catholic spiritual retreat centre) and the Alavanyo Abehenease Community.

The project is in response to the Ministry of Energy’s Renewable Energy Master Plan towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals which aims at ensuring access to affordable, reliable and modern energy for all by 2030.

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