Operations begin at 5-MW Siti 1 small hydropower plant in Uganda

The 5-MW Siti 1 small hydropower plant, on the Siti River in Uganda, has begun operations.

This run-of-river project was developed with financing from the Netherlands Development Finance Co. (FMO) and the Global Energy Transfer Feed in Tariff (GET FiT). FMO focuses on financial institutions; energy; and agribusiness, food and water.

FMO arranged a US$35 million senior loan for financing Siti 1 and the 16.5-MW Siti 2 project. Both projects are developed and owned by Elgon Hydro Siti Limited, which is majority owned by DI Frontier Market Energy & Carbon Fund K/S (Frontier Energy).

Frontier Energy is developing and implementing a portfolio of renewable energy projects in eastern Africa, and Siti 1 is the first project out of a larger mandate to arrange US$83 million in financing for five small hydro projects in Uganda with a total capacity of 47 MW.

GET FiT is a support scheme for renewable energy projects managed by Germany’s KfW Development Bank in partnership with Uganda’s Electricity Regulatory Agency and funded by the governments of Norway, Germany, the United Kingdom and the European Union, FMO says.

Siti 1 consists of a flow diversion weir, a reinforced concrete intake structure, a headrace channel, a steel penstock, a forebay tank, and a powerhouse with two vertical shaft Francis turbine-generator units.

FMO says the project, in eastern Uganda, will provide clean, low carbon, sustainable electricity to 60,000 homes, schools and businesses in the area. It has an annual avoided greenhouse gas emissions rate of 12,144 tCO2eq.

Uganda has an average electrification rate of 15%.

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