Rains Booster for Ruacana

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By Petronella Sibeene

WINDHOEK

Heavy rains received in most parts of the country this year have left Ruacana Falls flowing at full capacity resulting in the Ruacana Hydro-electric Power Station remaining a dependable power generation source for Namibia amid severe electricity shortages.

Despite being a seasonal power generation plant, the Ruacana power station continues to constitute 63 percent of the country’s generation capacity contributing 240 megawatts of the country’s 384-megawatt generation capacity.

“Ruacana is like a cash cow for NamPower. The investment was made in the 1970s and today it is a low-cost generation station,” said NamPower Manager for Marketing and Corporation Communications, John Kaimu, during a recent media trip to the station.

Currently, the water inflow stands at above 300 cubic metres per second, making it easy to run the turbines at the station.

For the three generators to run at full capacity, there is need for an inflow of about 220 cubic metres per second.

Each generator produces 80 megawatts using 70 cubic metres per second.
“This year, the rains have been good and it is projected that the station will be running at full capacity until end of July/early August,” Kaimu said.

The water drops almost 134 metres down vertical shafts into the heart of the mountain, where it drives the turbines before rejoining the Kunene River from a discharge tunnel.

NamPower says when in full operation, the three turbines can generate about 240 megawatts, which is fed into the Namibia Power Grid at 330??????’??

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