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Sierra Leone News: Charlotte Falls turned into mini-hydro dam

After 20-years in the dark, the Charlotte community and its immediate environs in the Mountain Rural area in the Western Rural District, along the Regent-Grafton Road, will soon get electricity. The Chinese built, mini-hydro dam is expected to be complete by mid-October.
The Charlotte Falls will host a mini-hydro dam that will eventually generate two megawatts of electricity, which will be connected to the country’s main power grid. The mini-hydro dam will provide electricity through the rainy season only, when water levels are significant.
Malcolm Renner is a retired civil servant who lives in the area. “Since I relocated to my home community in the mid-90s, I have changed three generators. But the mini-hydro plant, when in operation, will reduce the cost of running my generator.”
China Aid will transform the Falls to produce a total of 2,200 KW, which is two megawatts of electricity.
According to an engineer with Hunan Construction Engineering Group, Tommy Tiang, the hydro electricity project is as a result of an agreement between the two governments, which started in March 2012, and all internal works completed, with external works now ongoing to be completed soon.
During a routine inspection exercise to ongoing energy projects, the Minister of Energy, Henry Macauley, were at the Charlotte mini-hydro dam to assess the extent of work done so far.
The Chinese team took the Ministry officials on a tour of the main facility and later went to inspect the installation process of poles and distribution lines, including the sub-station along the Grafton-Regent Road, which is the principal point to send power to the main grid.
Residents in the area have built homes under the main power lines at the Regent Sub-station, which the Minister noted as dangerous and unacceptable. Engineers of the Energy Ministry were disappointed over the attitude of residents who are operating businesses under transmission lines.
By Ade Campbell
Monday August 14, 2017.

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