ENERGY MINISTER INSPECTS MINI-HYDRO PROJECT AT ALAVANYO
Hon. John Peter Amewu, Minister for Energy, on Friday 27th September 2019 inspected the completed Tsatsadu Mini-hydro power Project at Alavanyo-Abehenease in the Volta Region. He undertook this inspection in preparation for the official commissioning of the Project. The Minister in his address noted that the Government of Ghana is committed to ensuring that more renewable sources of energy are added to the national energy mix to reduce over reliance on the thermal energy sources as a main source of power. Hon. Amewu indicated that Government, therefore, has plans to continue the construction of more mini-hydro plants to other parts of the country. The Minister noted that, the Tsatsadu Hydro-Power site would serve as a learning hub for the training of technical students to be equipped with knowledge on the construction, operation and maintenance of Mini-Hydro Power Plants. Togbe Komla Kunde V, Chief of Alavanyo- Abehenease commended Government for the initiative. Hon. Amewu was accompanied by the Director in charge of Renewable Energy at the Ministry, Mr. Wisdom Ahiataku-Togobo, and the Chief Executive Officer of Bui Power Authority (BPA), Mr. Fred Oware and some senior staff members of the Bui Power Authority. Project background The Ministry of Energy in 2005 entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Development Organization (UNIDO) and International Network on Small Hydro Power (INSHP) to undertake studies to develop small hydro power potentials in the country. Tsatsadu Waterfalls located in Alavanyo Abehenese in the Hohoe District of the Volta Region was selected to be developed as a pilot project. The Danish and Chinese Government through the Renewable Energy Technology Transfer Project (UNIDO RETT) donated a 45kW capacity Generated and associated electromechanical equipment for the project. The Ministry of Energy in 2016 appointed the Bui Power Authority (BPA) to develop the Tsatsadu Mini Hydro Project on its behalf. The project was designed as a 45kW capacity plant with the possibility of adding another 45 kW capacity turbine. BPA then reviewed all available information on the project by undertaking several feasibility studies of the site, conducting detailed topographical surveys and completed design drawings for the civil structures. Also the engineers undertook retrofitting activities on the turbines. BPA constituted a technical committee to implement the project. The committee comprised representatives of the Renewable and Alternate Energy Directorate of Ministry of Energy, Energy Commission, UNDP-RETT project implementation unit, SAS Finance group and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). During the construction, BPA also worked with stakeholders including the Alavanyo Traditional Council, Foyer de Charite (a Roman Catholic Spiritual Retreat Center), Abehenese Chiefs and community. Project Descriptions The Tsatsadu Hydropower is a run of the river scheme without the creation of a reservoir. It consists of a concrete diversion weir, an intake structure, diversion channel, a forebay, steel penstocks, a powerhouse (to house turbines and the generator) and transmission network to evacuate power on to the distribution grid. The headworks and powerhouse are situated on the right bank of the river. The 8m long concrete weir diverts part of the river flow through an intake channel into the diversion channel. The diverted water is then transported through the diversion channel into a forebay tank. From the forebay tank the water then goes through a 300mm diameter penstock to the base of the hill where the powerhouse is located. The water drives the turbine and escapes through the tail race channel and finally discharges back into the downstream of the waterfall.