Master students at the African Center of Excellence in Energy for Sustainable Development (ACEESD) specialising in Renewable Energy, Electrical Power System and Energy Economics visited Mukungwa I&II Hydropower Plants to experience the process to which the electrical power is generated and supplied to different zones upcountry.
The visit was organised to help students pursuing masters in energy experience the operation of Hydropower plants, have hands-on practice of the theories they learnt in class and interacted with technicians in Hydropower energy to open up their mind on reel energy business.
Aphrodis Nduwamungu, the Lab engineer at the Center who accompanied students said this was a good opportunity for students to know what is going on in Hydropower energy Sector.
“For instance, students who are doing Energy Economics are supposed to deal with energy policies and investment. During this visit, students were briefed on existing policies so that they may think of which projects to design and invest in this domain”, he said.
“This has been also an opportunity for students to identify the gap in energy sector especially hydropower energy and be able to suggest and design possible solutions to them”, he added.
At Mukungwa I Hydropower Plant, which produces approximately 72 MW, students were taken through the whole process from water collection, treatment to the power supply. Through discussions with technicians at the Plant, students were seemingly eager to link theories they acquired to the real operation of the plant.
Students who visited the two power plants said it was a good experience and urged authorities that such visits be organised on several occasions. Austin Nyirenda, a master student from Malawi said, “After visiting this kind of plants we were able to match theories we learnt to the reel practice. With skills we got today, we identified different ways we can help in setting up hydropower plants in our respective countries”, Nyirenda said.
He added that he is thankful to the Center after identifying that there is a big match between the practice at Hydropower plant and theories they learnt in class.
The African Center of Excellence in Energy for Sustainable Development is one of four African Centers of Excellence at University Of Rwanda under Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence Project funded by the World Bank. The Center trains Master and PhD students in Renewable Energy, Electrical Power System and Energy Economics.