The Hydro-electric station in Yele, Sierra Leone, was rehabilitated and made fully operational in 2012. Since then it has been run and maintained by the local company of PowerNed. A team of ten local employees plus a Dutch Managing Director, is responsible for the generation and distribution of electricity to a growing number of households and companies in the rural village. PowerNed is the first – and so far the only – privately run off-grid hydro-electric station in the history of Sierra Leone. The customerbase of PowerNed has grown to around 350 in 2017, and the goal is to have 1000 customers by 2020, eventhough their capacity is around 1200.
To become a fully-fledged and self-sufficient project, PowerNed will at least need to pass the threshold of 700 customers; until it gets there, Sierra Leone Now! supports it with spare parts, maintenance and support in purchasing new meters and cables which are necessary for connecting new customers.
We are working hard towards an upgrade of the hydro-electric station, and the replacement of prepaid meters of customers with a more modern system, as well as expansion of the electricity grid and more control over the flow of water through the station. These initiatives will ensure the future of light in Yele, and set a benchmark for future electricity projects in the country. Everybody has the right to have light!