Cascaded generation is based on the principle that river water is not consumed in the generation process. The energy from water is used only to run turbines and the water returns back to the river without necessarily losing its quantity or metric volume. The location of generation points takes into account the river gradient or terrain which provides the head required for the expected power output. ZESCO is taking advantage of these massive waters and innovating the Cascaded Generation which will increase generation capacity using the same water bodies to generate electricity at different points. In Zambia there are a number of rivers with sufficient or good amount of water running throughout the year. In the Northern part of Zambia, the country has rivers such as Luapula, Lunga, Chambeshi, Kalungwishi, Kapamba, shiwang’andu and many others with potential for cascaded generation. In central and Eastern Zambia, the country has Lusiwasi and Luangwa rivers. In southern and western Zambia, there is the famous Zambezi and Kafue rivers whose sources start from North – Western region. With this geographical spread, investment in cascaded power generation will benefit the people of Zambia in many ways. It will enable the generation of electricity using the same water and thus increase power generation to mitigate the growing energy demand. Cascaded generation will mitigate the risk of setting up huge power plants at one point, bring development closer to the people and bring power closer to the demand load centers. This investment will avoid the challenges of running very long transmission lines from generation points and will also provide flexibility and continuity of supply in terms of system dislocation or outages.
The Shiwang’andu 1 Mega Watt mini hydro Power Station is located in Chinsali, Muchinga Province and situated in one of the most historic and scenic locations in Zambia. 1 MW is enough power to electrify a small town and Shiwangandu has been a life changing developmental initiative to the people of Chinsali. ZESCO has through projects such as the Shiwang’andu mini hydro Power Station extended electricity to rural areas to promote socio-economic growth by providing a sustainable energy source. Mini-hydro’s that are indigenously available in Zambia to facilitate rural electrification and promote linked productive use activities. the benefits from this Power Station for the people of this small but significant historic community include improved health services and reduced illiteracy levels among the populace in line.
ZESCO is currently undertaking the development of Kafue Gorge Lower Hydropower plant with a capacity of 750 MW expected to be completed in 2020. By the end of 2020 hydropower capacity dependence would be reduced from the current 92% to about 77%. The project which will be constructed at a total cost of USD 2.0 billion is due for completion in the year 2020. The Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro Project. (KGL) project, is located on the Kafue River, a primary tributary of the Zambezi River, 55km upstream of the confluence with the Zambezi River, 17.3 km downstream of the existing 990MW Kafue Gorge Hydro Power Station dam site, and 5.9 km away from its tail water outlet. Once completed KGL will be the 3rd largest power station in the country after Kariba North Bank and Kafue Gorge Hydro Power Station. The increment of power generation capacity of 750 MW will significantly reduce the power deficit. Some of the notable project benefits are direct and indirect employment of about 4000 people at peak; opening of business opportunities for suppliers of goods and services. It is envisaged that the project will open up the surrounding areas for further development. Generation projects are expected to mitigate the power deficit in the country and the sub-region as a whole. The increased generation capacity will contribute to the continued economic growth in the country.
ZESCO has upgraded the Musonda Falls Power Station in Mansa district from 5 MW to 10 MW, which is complete and scheduled to be commissioned in early 2018. Musonda Falls Hydro Power Station is located in Luapula Province and has been a source of power supply to seven districts in the province namely; Chiengi, Kawambwa, Mwense, Chipili, Chembe, Nchelenge and Samfya. The upgrading of the Musonda Falls Power Station will increase local power capacity to reinforce reliability of supply in Luapula province as well as add capacity to the National grid. The increased power supply is also going to support the fishing Industry, farming activities and potential mining activities which are expected to bring employment opportunities to the local communities.
The 120 Mega Watts (MW) ITT Power Station located in Southern Province and commissiond in March, 2016 was a joint venture between ZESCO and TATA Zambia at a cost of $245 Million and has been operated by Itezhi Tezhi Power Corporation(ITPC). The hydropower station which was originally constructed to provide storage capacity for the Kafue Gorge Power Station, is located on the Kafue River some 300 kilometers from the confluence of the Kafue and Zambezi rivers with both the Itezhi Tezhi Power Corporation Ltd (ITPC) and ZESCO having the Itezhi-Tezhi dam as a shared facility. Itezhi-Tezhi doesn’t just add capacity to the national grid, but it also improved Power Reliability within the district as power is readily available for mining and farming and has also brought about job creation. The project brought support to the community under the Social Responsibilities via a special fund of approximately 0.5% per annum of total revenue which was provided in the operation budget post construction period towards Social Corporate Responsibility by Expansion of Water supply system and sewerage facility and Rehabilitation of Hospital’s electrical infrastructure.
Lunzua Hydro Power Station is located 23km west of Mbala town and 3km from the Mbala Mpulungu road on Lunzua river. The Power Station is almost mid-way between Mbala and Mpulungu town. The Power Station was upgraded from 0.75 MW to 14.8 MW. Before upgrading, Lunzua used to supply power at 11kv to critical installations such as the Zambia Air force (ZAF), outward bound, to Zambia National Service (ZNS) and Mbala General hospital and surrounding areas. The new upgraded Power Station to 14.8 MW Power Station supplies Mbala, Mpulungu, Sumbawanga export line and Nkamba/Kasaba bay at 66kv and surrounding areas. Mpulungu which is a harbor and facilitator of trade for four counties has benefited a lot from the upgrading of the Power Station because of the adequate electricity needed for fish farming and Agriculture. At 14.8mw Lunzua Power Station can be synchronized to the national grid and is able to operate in island mode. Even when the main grid has an outage, the sub-region continues to get supply from Lunzua Power Station. Mbala and surrounding districts have derived many benefits from the establishment of the Lunzua 14.8MW Power Station since its commissioning and the areas that have benefited from this upgrade include: Senga district and surroundings, Mpulungu, Mbala, Nkamba Bay/Kasaba bay, Sumbawanga and surrounding areas.
Lusiwasi Hydro Power station is also classified as one of the small hydro power projects currently under implementation. It is situated in the northern province of Zambia standing at a latitude of 12.9884 and a longitude of 30.8649. This infrastructure was designed for a capacity of 12 MW with four (4) units. ZESCO embarked on a project to rehabilitate the existing mini hydro power stations in a quest to enhance the quality and reliability of power supply in the Northern and Eastern provinces.
Located in Siavonga on the Zambezi River next to the existing Kariba North Bank Power Station is another 360 MW Power Station. A provision for the extension of the existing one was made during the planning and construction of the Kariba North Bank Power Station.
Located in Siavonga on the Zambezi River next to the existing Kariba North Bank Power Station is another 360 MW Power Station. A provision for the extension of the existing one was made during the planning and construction of the Kariba North Bank Power Station. Kariba North Bank Extension (KNBE) Power Station was then developed by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called Kariba North Bank Extension Power Corporation Limited (wholly owned by ZESCO) at an estimated cost of US$ 420 Million.