First Solar Plant Serving 40 Households in Bong County

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About 40 households and businesses in Totota in Bong County, the central part of Liberia, for the first time in post-war history were connected to regular electricity supply powered by solar plant.

The mini solar plant is operated by Liberia Engineering and Geo Technology Company – a Liberian owned company.

Commissioning the plant recently, the CEO of the company said connecting 40 homes in the area is like a drop in the bucket in a region where over 1,000 households and over 50 businesses lack access to regular power supply.

According to the president and CEO of the company, Mr. William T. Thompson, there are plans underway to expand by providing clean, renewable and affordable energy to over 500 homes in Totota.

Commissioning the project recently, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf urged Mr. Thompson and his team to consider the possibility of providing similar solar power light to the National Housing Authority (NHA) newly constructed estates in Marshall and Brewerville in Margibi and Montserrado, respectively.

President Sirleaf used the occasion to appeal to residents of Totota to ensure that those connected to the Mini-Solar Power Light pay their bills as a means of sustaining the project to keep it alive.

President Sirleaf thanked Mr. Williams and his team for being so creative in providing job opportunities for jobless Liberians.

Liberia Engineering & Geo Technology Consultant is a 100% Liberian owned and operated Company, engaging into profitable livelihood activities.

The President used the occasion to urge other youthful Liberians to be creative like Mr. Thompson and Urey, by not sitting down idly, depending on others to do for them, what they are supposed to be doing for themselves.

According to reports, President Sirleaf officially participated in the Solar Power lightening ceremony on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 in Totota, Bong County, Central Liberia while en-route to Gbarnga City, Bong County for the official dedicatory ceremony of the newly paved (176.7km)  Suakoko Highway.

She used the occasion to call on other youthful Liberians to emulate the good examples of Thompson and Urey for being so creative and innovative for bringing about opportunity to benefit others.

Energy consumption in Liberia is dominated by biomass with a share of more than 80% of the used primary energy sources.

Most important is woody biomass being used for domestic cooking and heating. In 2004, it was estimated that over 95% of the population depends on firewood and charcoal for cooking and heating needs and palm oil for lighting.

The most recent Census (2008 data, published in 2009) shows that 70% of the urban population use charcoal for cooking and 5% of the rural population; 91% of the rural population use firewood for cooking and 21% of the urban population. In Monrovia, the percentage of households using charcoal is even higher, 85%.

Modern energy services based on electricity and petroleum products are predominantly used for economic production and transportation.

In the household sector, the use of modern energy services consists mainly of kerosene, electricity, and liquefied petroleum gas for lighting, cooking, and entertainment.

These are used by higher income households in urban areas. Historically electricity was mainly provided in the capital of Monrovia; around 35,000 customers—almost 13 percent of the population—were served by 1989. Total installed electricity capacity was 191 MW.

The generation mix was composed of hydropower from the plant at Mt. Coffee—with a supply capacity of 63 MW during the wet season and 5 MW during the dry season (six months)—and 31 percent HFO and 21 percent diesel.

The utility LEC also handled the electricity supply of rural areas outside Monrovia through 10 small isolated power systems with a total installed capacity of 13 MW.

According to the data of the government, about 10% of urban residents and less than 2% of rural residents have currently electricity access largely from self-generation with gasoline or diesel generators using expensive imported fuel.

The access rate to public electricity is roughly 1%. In March 2012 LEC served about 5,600 connections in Monrovia (around 2,500 residents from an estimated number of 210,000 households).

In August 2012 already 11,000 customers are served by LEC. A baseline study carried out by Norad estimates that close to 90,000 households and businesses in Monrovia may be served by small gasoline and diesel generators. It is planned to increase the number of connections to the grid to 45,000. Each connection will cost around US$1000.

The rehabilitated Mount Coffee Hydro would be commissioned December 16, 2016, the Government of Liberia has disclosed.

The US$230 million project at the country’s only hydroelectric facility. The new hydro would produce 64 mw.


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