In East Africa, the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has recently sponsored feasibility studies and provided technical assistance for potential small hydropower projects in Rwanda.
According to the USTDA, several run-of-the-river hydropower projects will be constructed during Rwanda’s spring and summer 2016 season, as a result of these efforts.
Hydropower developments to boost electrification rate
Currently there is an estimated 13% household electrification rate in Rwanda, according to the Rwanda Development Board.
[quote]The development of these hydropower plants, which will range from under 1MW to 4.5MW, will provide reliable electricity at affordable costs to those marginalised off-grid communities in rural northern Rwanda, including the Musanze District.
Recent hydropower progress
The east African country continues to bolster efforts and encourage partnerships to develop hydropower projects across the country.
In March 2016, a $24.17 million financing agreement was signed with the African Development Bank (AfDB) in support of the regional 147MW Ruzizi III hydropower plant (HPP), ESI Africa reported.
The Ruzizi III plant is a regional project shared by Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The generated power will be shared equally amongst the three participating countries with Rwanda getting around 50MW of power.
In the same month, media reported that Rwandan renewable energy company, Ngali Energy, is preparing to develop the 2MW Ntaruka hydropower dam in the Nyaruguru district.
This project is expected to reach completion in 2018.
According to Ngali Energy’s managing director, Leonard Gasana: “This project will help stabilise the national grid in the parts of the Southern Province and increase generation capacity of the country as Rwanda continues to strive to reach the generation capacity of 563MW by 2018.”