The Muvumbe SHP is a run-of-river hydropower project with an installed capacity of 6.5 MW and estimated 31 GWh annual production, located in Kabale District, South-Western Uganda. The Project secured investments of USD 14.1M and USD 4.5M in GET FiT commitments, under the second request for proposals for the GET FiT Premium Payment Mechanism (GFPPM) in Uganda.
Construction works commenced in September 2015 and were significantly ramped-up during early 2017 in order to achieve the construction programme. Commissioning tests of the power station commenced during March 2017 but due to logistical and coordination issues with UETCL the Project did not formally achieve commercial operation until mid-May 2017, 20 months following the start of construction.
By the end of 2017, the Project had delivered 16.0 GWh of clean energy to the grid. Taking account of grid failures and outages, the cumulative energy output would have been 18.2 GWh, which is approximately 72% of the average production estimated at application stage for the same 9 month period. This is partly attributable to the availability of the plant, which was on average available for 98.7% of the time during the first 9 full months of operation (April-December 2017) – considered good for the first year of operation – but mainly due to 2017 being a statistically drier year. It is, however, too early to conclude if the energy production estimates are overly optimistic based on one year of production data and without any available analysis of the regional hydrology for 2017.
The grid failures and outages amounted to more than 28 days since achieving commercial operation and were approximately equivalent to nearly 14% of production, which is relatively high. Lower grid failures and outages are expected following the implementation of transmission network upgrades anticipated in the region.
Figure 3 - Muvumbe SHP actual versus estimated energy output