Power Station Design
The Ngonye Falls project will generate electricity by diverting some of the flow of water from the Zambezi river into a canal and then through hydropower turbines which will be spun by the action of the water to generate electricity. To divert the water into the canal the design will use a series of low, adjustable weirs and embankments and a barrage. Water will always flow over the weirs and through the barrage to maintain the ecology and environment of the river. The weirs will be constantly adjusted to maintain the level of the water at the intake of the canal.
The design is run-of-river which means there is no dam and no storage or water. A portion of the river's flow is diverted for power generation and then immediately fed back into the river. This means that downstream of the powerhouse the project has no impact on the amount of water in the river or on any other users of water. Because the project does not include a dam and a reservoir (lake) it also has a very low environmental impact due to flooding and produces almost zero greenhouse gasses.
However, because the project is run-of-river, it does not have the ability to store water (and therefore electricity) during times when the river is in flood so that extra electricity can be generated during drought periods. For this reason the electricity generation from the project will be dependent on the amount of water flowing in the river at any given time.