Bui Power Authority completes 45-kW small hydro station in Ghana

The Bui Power Authority announces it has completed work on the 45-kW Tsatsadu Generating Station, which it calls Ghana’s first micro-hydropower plant.

The plant, on the Tsatsadu Waterfalls in the Hohoe District of the Volta Region, has the possibility of adding another 45-kW turbine in the future, BPA says. Construction of the facility was completed under the Ministry of Energy’s renewable energy initiative.

The run-of-river Tsatsadu project consists of a concrete diversion weir, an intake structure, a diversion channel, a forebay, a steel penstock, a powerhouse and a transmission line to tie the electricity generated into the national distribution grid. The weir diverts part of the river flow through an intake channel into the diversion channel. The diverted water goes through a 300-mm-diameter penstock to the base of the hill where the powerhouse is located. The water returns to the river downstream from the waterfall.

In 2005, the 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 potential in the country. The Tsatsadu Waterfalls site was selected to be developed as a pilot project. UNIDO donated a 30-kW Turgo turbine and associated electromechanical equipment for the project. The Ministry of Energy appointed BPA in 2016 to develop the Tsatsadu Micro Hydropower Project on its behalf. BPA then reviewed all available information on the project, including site assessment surveys, detailed topographical surveys and the development of engineering drawings for the project.

The project was upgraded from a 30-kW stand-alone system to a 45-kW grid-connection system, and new equipment was procured to accomplish this, BPA says.

The Ministry of Energy directed 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, Energy Commission, United Nations Development Program — Renewable Energy Technology Transfer (UNDP-RETT) Project Implementation Unit and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

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