Increased Access to Electricity and Renewable Energy Production (IAEREP): Progress on the Mini and Micro Hydro Reconnaissance in Zambia


10th of December, 2021

Phase 2 of the IAEREP project has been launched

NTU International is pleased to announce that Technical Assistance 2 under the IAEREP project in partnership with the REA has resumed its Hydro activities and moved onto phase 2. During Phase 1 of the NTU Contract, prospective sites for mini- and micro-hydro were identified and mapped, culminating in the development of a REA Hydropower Database for sites with potential power output up to 3.5 MW. During phase 2, REA with the assistance of NTU team of experts will continue to build on these initial investigations to take forward those mini- and micro-hydro projects already identified and studied by NTU in May 2021 from those granted feasibility rights by OPPPI. OPPPI has granted feasibility rights to REA for 20 micro-hydro and 5 mini-hydro, some of which will be taken through feasibility assessments. 

The objective of the Hydro activities is to:

  • Carrying out site investigations (including taking head and flow measurements).
  • Undertake pre-feasibility assessments for those identified mini- and micro-hydro sites, which may be on-grid (larger schemes) or off-grid (feeding local communities for the smaller sites).
  • After undertaking the pre-feasibility studies for the priority sites already identified, proceed to elaborate the full feasibility studies for sites that are chosen by REA.
  • FS content: Technical Assessments / Social Surveys / Environmental Surveys / Development Aspects

On the 12th November 2021, a team of experts from NTU under the supervision of the Hydro Coordinator in partnership with REA began undertaking site investigations. They visited locations were most of the identified sites are located in Northern, Muchinga and Northwestern Provinces of Zambia. As at end of November 2021 the team had visited a total of 14 sites consisting of both mini hydro and micro hydro. The Hydro Coordinator and the REA are currently preparing to begin screening of these sites to determine which sites go through to pre-feasibility stage. The team are scheduled to begin conducting the Pre-feasibility site visits in February 2022. Following the elaboration of pre-feasibility studies, resources shall be assessed to define the needs for developing full feasibility studies sites for prioritized sites under TA 2. Any additional site(s) that is feasible/bankable for development but will not be studied and prepared in full under this TA 2, could potentially be presented to another cooperating partner if REA decides to further develop the site based on the promising outcome of the studies.