NRECA prepares plan to provide reliable electricity in Sierra Leone

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The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association announced that its international affiliate—NRECA International—has contracted with Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Energy to prepare a transmission and distribution investment plan that will be used by the government of Sierra Leone to expand reliable electricity services to its capital Freetown and surrounding areas.

Funded by the World Bank, this project will ultimately support a larger expansion plan that will serve the capital and the entire country.

“Currently, less than 10 percent of the national population has access to electricity,” said Dan Waddle, senior vice president for NRECA International. “Like many of its neighbors, the people of Sierra Leone will benefit greatly from having a reliable source of electricity to help them advance socially and economically. We look forward to helping the government with a clear path toward expanding access to electricity in the rural communities.”

Due in large part to the decade-long civil war which ended in 2001 and the recent Ebola outbreak, Sierra Leone lags behind neighboring countries in developing the necessary transmission-distribution infrastructure for growth in industry, commerce and agriculture.

To address this, the NRECA International’s project team based in Freetown will evaluate power generation and distribution systems serving the capital, complemented by a more extensive country-wide analysis which will evaluate power expansion options. The outcome of this nine-month effort will serve as a guide for the government to undertake future grid development activities for the next 15 years.

NRECA is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states. NRECA’s international affiliate—NRECA International—has been working in developing countries since 1962. Its global commitment has helped provide electricity to more than 110 million people in 43 countries.

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