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May 2019 - Ongoing: Environmental and Social Impact Assessment For 6MWp PV Grid Connected Power Plant(Quarterly Monitoring)

The GoSL intends to expand the production of electricity to substantially increase the generating capacity, transmission and distribution networks. As such the Ministry of Energy on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone has signed a memorandum of understanding with SMRT Projects and Energy Solutions to develop a 6MWpPV Grid Connected Power Plant along with the required interconnection to the existing 161 Kv Bumbuna Line.

The proposed Project site is located in Newton, (Western Area Rural District), 40 km South-East of Freetown. The Project site lies within the administrative sections of Newton and Magbafti and it is surrounded by a variety of light to dense vegetation within the 70-hectare confined area. The Project area is surrounded by lands owned by the GoSL and can be accessed through the Masiaka-Waterloo Highway.

It is intended that the electricity generated from the proposed facility will feed into the national electrical grid network; thus, supporting government initiatives to encourage the uptake of renewable energy. The Project will be amongst one of the first projects to contribute towards Sierra Leone’s renewable energy production target; aiming to cater for the energy needs and access requirements. Underdeveloped residential areas, rural sectors, and small and medium businesses, followed by the main Port of Sierra Leone is envisaged to be the primary sector in which the proposed Project shall benefit. Direct benefits from the Project are also envisaged to impact economic and social indicators; positively improving performance conditions in the sectors aforementioned. Immediate improvements include increased education, empowering women and increasing general health requirements.

The objectives of the Project include the following:

  • Developing a highly stable and reliable electric power generation and supply capacity to improve electricity supply to the country for domestic consumption,
  • Optimizing the overall cost-effectiveness and efficiency in power generation and supply, thereby contributing to the provision of affordable and reliable electricity supply in Sierra Leone.
  • The main objective of the ESIA Study is to assist with the Project grading and to identify the potentially significant environmental and socio-economic issues relating to the implementation, operation and decommissioning of the proposed Solar Plant.

The ESIA Study is intended to enable the developer to identify and address the key issues and allow for early recognition of these issues in the design of the Project. This ESIA Report documents the study activities associated with the ESIA process as well as provide an appropriate programme for consultation with stakeholders.