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Small Hydro

Cayman Islands firm finances 9-mw Escalona in Mexico

Clean energy investment firm Leaf Clean Energy Co. announces it completed US$20.9 million in project financing for the 9.3-mw Escalona hydroelectric project on Mexico’s Las Minas River near Veracruz.

By displacing fossil-fueled generation with hydropower, Escalona is expected to qualify for certified emissions reductions (CER) under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol. Leaf, based in the Cayman Islands, calls the CERs an “important source of revenue supporting the financing.”

The project also is receiving US$12.6 million from the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corp.

Escalona is to use the constant discharge from the government-owned 15-mw Las Minas hydro project upstream.

Operator Energia Escalona S.A. de C.V. is a special entity formed to build and operate Escalona. JAC Group Inc. is the project’s developer.

Romania auctions 17 plants to Austrian firm

Romania utility Hidroelectrica S.A. is selling 17 small hydro projects in five groups totaling more than 10 mw to Wienstrom GmbH of Austria.

The Austrian firm agreed to pay 103.9 million lei (US$44.8 million) in a privatization auction.

Hidroelectrica said the price was more than two times higher than the auction starting price. Terms of the auction also required the winning bidder to make rehabilitation investments in the projects.

Projects acquired by Wienstrom, by river basin groups, include:

On-line report:Angola’s 16-mw Chicapa

The newly commissioned 16-mw Chicapa project on Angola’s Chicapa River supplies 4 mw for the city of Saurimo and 12 mw for Catoca Mining Society under a 40-year concession.

Officials of Angola and of Russian diamond mining company Alrosa Co. Ltd. inaugurated the plant. Angola President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Energy and Water Minister Botehlo de Vasconcelos attended the ceremonies.

De Vasconcelos hailed the partnership between Angola’s Empresa Nacional de Electricidade and Alrosa to develop the project in Lunda Sul Province. “This is a concrete demonstration of the opening of the power sector to national or foreign private investment and how viable it is,” De Vasconcelos said in a report carried by state-run Angola Press.

The Hidrochicapa consortium of Empresa Nacional de Electricidade and Alrosa is the project developer. Alrosa also provided financing. Alrosa Vneshtroy LDA is the project’s builder. Lenhaydro provided supervision.

At the inauguration ceremonies, held in August, De Vasconcelos also highlighted studies that are being performed for construction of new hydro projects throughout the country. The government and Alrosa have agreed to develop the Chicapa 2 project. Additionally, Alrosa plans to add 15 mw of capacity through rehabilitation of 9-mw Luachimo.

India firm to supply equipment to Kaliganga 2

VA Tech Escher Wyss Flove Ltd. is supplying electro-mechanical equipment to the 6-mw Kaliganga 2 hydroelectric project in India’s Uttarakhand State.

The India-based company is providing the equipment under contract to Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd. (UJVNL), the state’s hydro development agency. UJVNL awarded VA Tech the US$1.8 million contract to design, supply, install, test, and commission equipment. UJVNL previously awarded a US$4.3 million contract to Srinivasa Constructions Ltd. for design, supply, and installation of complete civil works.

Kaliganga 2 was one of four projects tendered by UJVNL under the Uttaranchal Power Sector Investment Project, backed by US$300 million in funding from the Asian Development Bank. The program is to foster clean energy development mainly involving small hydro, plus transmission system expansion and sector capacity building.

Firm to supply penstock to Norway’s 500-kw Gaula

Norwegian firm Brodrene Dahl AS is supplying penstock pipe for use in upgrading the 500-kw Gaula hydroelectric project in Sor-Trondelag County, Norway.

On behalf of Gauldal Energy AS, Mikro-og Minikraft AS awarded a 4.2 million kroner (US$820,000) contract to Brodrene Dahl to supply 830 meters of 1,400-millimeter-diameter glass-reinforced plastic pipe.

Gauldal Energy’s upgrade of the hydro project is to include two turbine-generators.

Developer plans to power Windsor Castle from hydro

Developer npower renewables says it is discussing with the United Kingdom’s Royal Household the prospects for supplying electricity to 900-year-old Windsor Castle from the Romney Weir hydropower project.

Npower said it received approval from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Planning Authority of England to redesign the 200-kw project. Npower had applied to replace four proposed low-head submerged propeller turbines with two hydrodynamic screw turbines using the design of ancient Greek mathematician and inventor Archimedes.

Although npower did not state an installed capacity for the modified project, it said the Archimedes screw turbines would be capable of generating 1.4 gigawatt-hours (gwh) annually, more electricity than the original design.

The developer received permission from the authority in 2005 to build a 1 million pound (US$1.7 million) project with four conventional turbines installed in two of the ten bays of the existing Thames River weir to generate 1.3 gwh annually. Power would be delivered to the castle by underground cables and not pass through the national grid.

The scheme is to be developed and built by npower in association with Southeast Power Engineering. Construction and commissioning are expected in 2009.

Briefly …

A grant for power and water supply work in Burundi approved by the World Bank includes financing for feasibility studies of small hydropower projects. The grant provides US$1.5 million for pre-feasibility and feasibility studies of run-of-river micro-hydropower projects having no major dam works. … The government of Chile created a US$400 million fund to promote new renewable energies and energy efficiency, including small hydropower and ocean energy. The government’s economic development agency, Corporacion de Fomento de la Produccion, administers the fund.

Letter to the Editor

I could not stop laughing when I received the September 2008 issue of HRW and saw the cover illustration! I have been using an old Leffel runner as a coffee table for about 20 years. The biggest problem is moving it to clean underneath.

Robert Balletti, account manager, GE Energy Power Generation, United States


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