supporting the hydroPOWER GROWTH
The Government of Haiti has made hydropower development a priority – Hydropower is currently the largest contribution of renewables to Haiti’s energy mix. One of the Government’s first initiatives was to launch a rehabilitation plan for the existing hydropower plants throughout the country, as many generation units need to be repaired and upgraded. This investment aims at restoring the full energy production capacity of the country (300+ MW), stabilizing the grid, and consequently improving the living conditions of the population.
Located on the Artibonite River, 70 km from the capital Port-au-Prince, the Peligre hydropower plant, one of the largest and the oldest plants in the country, operated by Electricité d’Haiti (EDH), is part of the rehabilitation initiative launched by the government.
In 2012, EDH awarded GE a turnkey contract to manage the entire overhaul of the three Francis units (18 MW each) of this power plant including the balance of plant, the control system, the hydromechanical equipment and the civil works. We developed a new hydraulic design for each turbine, installed new cooling and drainage systems and refurbished the plant’s turbine gates. A new automation system has also been implemented into the plant to ease the maintenance work.
The Peligre lake is the main electricity source of the country while providing irrigation and flood protection for local agriculture. For this reason, EDH later asked us to perform the rehabilitation without draining completely the dam’s reservoir to ensure the fulfilment of water needs for the agriculture. We reached an agreement with the customer on a new planning and managed the refurbishment of the three units one after another to respect the needs of the customer.
From 60 to 100
The Peligre hydropower dam was operating at less than 60% of its full capacity, with all three units in partial operation. This overall refurbishment will allow to regain the full 54 MW output of the plant, enhance the efficiency and the reliability of the machines, and helps enhance their lifetime by more than 40 years.
Moreover, blackouts occur frequently on the island. Peligre’s more reliable and flexible production will support the stabilization of the grid enabling the other plants to restart more easily and quickly.
The first unit entered service in July 2016. The second one was commissioned in February 2018 and the last one in June 2018 in the presence of the President of Haiti. He highlighted his satisfaction and the quality of the work performed by GE and EDH to support the development of the country.
For the first time in ten years, the Peligre plant generates 54 MW and will provide sustainable energy for the 40 years to come.
GOING BEYOND REHABILITATION
GE’s scope goes beyond the rehabilitation of the three units. We have a team of 30 local employees and subcontractors ready to support EDH when needed for the operation and maintenance of its refurbished plant.
Moreover, the team completely rebuilt the school located nearby the plant, that 120 children attend. Some school necessities (supplies, books, games, etc.) were collected from various GE sites in France (Paris, Grenoble and Belfort) and Spain (Bilbao) and donated to this school as well as to three orphanages in the country – helping provide the next generation Haitians with tools for success.