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Small plants will empower villages

By Ernest Petrosyan
Thursday, April 2
On March 31 a new hydro power plant [HPP] was opened in the Misaktsieli village in the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region. Chief of the USAID programme Horst Meinecke, US Ambassador John Tefft, the First Deputy Energy Minister Mariam Valishvili and private investor Levan Ioseliani attended the opening. The new HPP is a part of the rural energy programme being implemented by USAID and private investors.

The HPP is a venture between USAID and a private investor ENTO Ltd. The cost of the HPP’s rehabilitation and modernization was 700,000 USD. USAID granted 150,000 USD of this and the rest was covered by the investor and commercial loans. USAID not only funded the project but also helped undertake technical works and delivered training for HPP employees.

The rural energy programme implemented by USAID and Winrock Georgia involves the rehabilitation and modernization of eight small hydro power plants in various Georgian regions. Each HPP will produce about 2,600 KW of environmentally-safe renewable energy which will provide with electricity for about 7,000 homes in a village or 5,000 homes in a city.

The head of the rural energy programme, Horst Meinecke, stated that the Misaktsieli HPP will produce about 2,700 mgw of clean renewable energy. “The implementation of this project is the result of collaboration between USAID, private investors, local government and the local population. Misaktsieli HPP will provide 5,000 homes with energy and the programme will add about 10 MW to Georgian energy production which is very important in ensuring Georgia’s energy security. It will increase Georgian energy independence, attract investments and thereby employ more people. I want to thank all parties involved in HPP implementation,” stated US Ambassador John Tefft.

First Deputy Energy Minister Mariam Valishvili stated: “Firstly I want to express my gratitude to all sides involved in the implementation of this project. This is one more brick in building the wall of our energy system. The micro hydro power plants are one of our priorities. It is important to build micro HPPs to provide energy independence for small villages and then undertake bigger projects. The Georgian Government creates amenable conditions for investment in such projects and I hope these will continue,” the Deputy Minister added.

Talking to The Messenger, Valishvili and Meinecke stated that this project will open two more such rehabilitated plants in the near future.