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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.
AC/12/8/17
By Ade Campbell
Monday August 14, 2017.

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