South African hydropower NuPlanet has broken ground on a new hydroelectric power generation plant on the Ash River. The plant, which will be built into the wall of the Botterkloof dam, is expected to cost R200m and be operational by the middle of 2016.

The original plan, which was approved under phase 2 of the national Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement program (REIPPP) was due to come online this year, but was delayed by the REIPPP and a refinancing initiative, NuPower managing director Anton-Louis Olivier told htxt.africa.

The existing dam will be unchanged, Olivier says, and the plant itself built on currently unused farmland.

Stortemelk is a very small plant capable of producing just 4.1MW of energy at peak capacity – enough for a few thousand homes – and around 25GWh a year. It is being built with the backing of a local charity which will be returning profits from the plant back into other community project.

NuPlanet already operates a similar hydroelectric installation at nearby Bethlehem.

[Via – HydroWorld, Image – NuPlanet]
Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar, Wired.co.uk, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.