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River Sinoe Hydro Liberia

sinoe falls

Simon Taylor has been working with the Rural and Renewable Energy Agency (RREA) in Liberia leading a team investigating the potential of the River Sinoe for small hydropower development.  The project site is located to the east of Greenville City in Sinoe County in a pristine environment near the old Sinoe Rubber Corporation factory but is cut-off from the capital Monrovia, taking 16 hours to reach in the rainy season due to the poor condition of the dirt roads.  This remoteness has traditionally hampered Greenville’s and the surrounding areas’ prospects for development.

As a medium-sized river and with a water drop of approximately 5 m, the project has been sized at 2 MW capacity to supply electricity to Greenville as well as communities along the road, thereby benefiting almost 10,000 people and hundreds of enterprises and small businesses.  Greenville is a small but busy city on the coast that has not had a sustainable supply of electricity since the civil war in 1990 and it has huge potential to develop through electrification.  Local activities that would be supported would be fisheries, cold storage, food processing, agricultural development, tourism, woodworking and traders, stores and SMEs as well as its port, the third largest in Liberia.  The usual public amenities such as water pumping, streetlighting, schools, the hospital and clinics, hotels and guesthouses would also benefit from the electrification plan and bring the chance for Greenville to develop into an enterprising hub for the SE of Liberia.

The multi-disciplined team being led by Simon has skills in surveying, hydrology, geology, hydropower engineering, environmental and social studies, project management, economics and procurement and has spent the last 2 months of 2018 in the field undertaking the required specialist studies to determine the preferred layout of the project that respects the community use of the river.  Extensive community consultations have been carried out in the Wedjah and Numopoh areas near the project site and in Greenville City itself and it is hoped the project can be constructed by 2022.

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Mount Coffee Hydro Liberia

powerhouse tailrace

Simon Taylor of RDC has just completed a 2-year contract for the rehabilitation of an 88 MW hydro plant in Liberia, managing two major international contractors for the installation of 4 new low-head Francis turbines and the refurbishment of the 10 spillway gates and all intakes and draft tubes, including supply of three new cranes for each of these major hydraulic structures.  The Mount Coffee Hydro plant is the main source of electricity for the capital Monrovia and surrounding area and a key project of the out-going administration of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

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Philippines 20 MW Solar PV

RE ilocos norte

In 2013 RDC reviewed the technical documentation for a 20 MW Solar PV plant planned for Currimao, Ilocos Norte in the Philippines and assisted URS (Hong Kong) to verify the annual yield calculations.  The $ 51.9 million project was inaugurated in February 2016 and now operates under the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) incentive scheme for renewable energy developers.


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Madagascar GEF Hydro Project


RDC has evaluated UNIDO proposals for 1-3 megawatt (MW) capacity mini-hydro projects in Madagascar and put together the Project Identification Forms to be submitted for Global Environment Fund (GEF) CEO endorsement, identifying the priority hydro projects for development with a total project value of over $ 14 million.


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Gresham Mill Hydro Fishpass

bristle install

In 2015 RDC completed the design and installation of fish passage measures for Linden Homes at the site of a 15 kW screw turbine at the Old Gresham Press mill site that has been operating since 2012 generating clean energy for this new housing development in Old Woking.  The baffles placed across the main sluice and bristles installed below the screw turbine’s tilting gate outfall and improvement of an eel pass in a side channel are designed to encourage migratory species of fish to access the upper reaches of the River Wey.

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Mini-hydro in Zambia

Shiwangandu 1 MW

In early 2013, RDC reported on evaluations of a range of renewable energy projects in Zambia for the United Nations, including the Shi’wangandu 1 MW mini-hydro project which was inaugurated by the President in December 2012.  This project in the east of the country was funded by ZESCO (93%) and the Global Environmental Facility (7%) coordinated by UNIDO and feeds a mini-grid benefiting over 2,000 people. RDC evaluated the impact of the project in terms of its demonstration that reliable power supplies based on renewable energy can be pursued in rural areas to promote income generation activities and contribute to the Zambian government’s efforts to reduce poverty.

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Denbighshire Hydro Club


RDC has completed a summary of micro-hydro potential in the county of Denbighshire, North Wales for Cadwyn Clwyd, together with full feasibility studies for 7 Hydro Club sites ranging from 3 – 55 kW. An Information Event about the project will take place on 14 September 2011 from 9:30am to 2pm in Ruthin with stakeholders from the Environment Agency, Forestry Commission, Local Planning Authorities, Welsh Assembly Government, Farmer’s Union of Wales as well as the community groups, farmers and landowners pursuing their individual hydro projects.

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UNIDO Rwandan Mission

rwandan waterfall

RDC completed a mission to Rwanda in June 2011 to evaluate 4 small hydro power projects initiated by UNIDO and implemented by the Government of Rwanda and a Sri Lankan contractor using Chinese equipment. The projects are now benefitting 2,000 households and dozens of small businesses in parts of the country without access to the grid. The Government is now actively pursuing small hydro power as a priority for the rural areas of Rwanda to increase the electrification rate from a very low base of 2%.

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Gresham Mill

river wey lock

RDC with partners IT Power and Hyder have prepared (on behalf of Regeneco) the applications for abstraction licence, flood defence consent and fish pass consent, which were submitted to the EA in March 2011, for the development of a 15 kW Archimedean Screw turbine at the old Gresham Press mill site outside Old Woking in Surrey. The turbine is a crucial part of a new Linden Homes housing development which will total 81 new homes in a beautiful riverside setting and will generate up to 10% of the site’s electrical requirements.

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Community Energy Scotland


RDC delivered feasibility study reports and overview drawings for 7 micro-hydro sites in Shetland and the Western Isles in March 2011. This followed a period of detailed design and negotiations with Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) on grid connection and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) on abstraction rates and environmental impacts.

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