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Austrian firm named to develop 16 Macedonia small hydros

Austrian company Energie Zotter Bau signed contracts to build 16 small hydropower plants in Macedonia representing a total investment of 15 million euros (US$21 million).

Macedonia Vice President Vladimir Pesevski participated in the signing of agreements in July with Energie Zotter Bau, marking Macedonia's first award of small hydro concessions stemming from three public solicitations that began in 2007.

Upon completion by June 2012, the 16 hydro plants are to have total installed capacity of 6.62 MW and estimated annual generation of 26.48 gigawatt-hours.

For details on the plant names, sizes, and locations, go to www.hydroworld.com and search for Energie Zotter Bau.

Macedonia's Ministry of Economy said a fourth concession auction is planned offering up to 40 small projects.

Association to develop European hydro database

With backing from the European Union, the European Small Hydropower Association (ESHA) is to develop a database of European hydropower as well as recommendations on future hydro development.

The Streammap project is to run three years from its launch in June at a meeting at the Renewable Energy House in Brussels. ESHA said the program is partially funded by the European Union under the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) Program conducted by the European Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation.

ESHA is to coordinate and set up a central database called HYDI, including complete information on the hydropower sector for each of the 27 EU member states. Information is to range from basic data on the number of plants to investment and economic variables. It also is to cover policy and legislative frameworks.

The association said the second purpose of the program is to define a "road map" for the small hydropower sector, including recommendations on future development to be delivered to national and local policymakers in view of plans to increase use of renewable energy.

ESHA is to coordinate Streammap with a consortium of France-Hydro-Electricite, British Hydropower Association, Lithuanian Hydropower Association, Italian Association of Renewable Energy, Slovenian Small Hydropower Association, Swedish Renewable Energy Association, Romanian Institute for Hydro and Design, Portuguese Renewable Energy Association, Polish Hydropower Association, and Belgium Renewable Energy Federation.

ESHA also studies mini-hydro, wind in mountains

In another IEE-funded project, ESHA and six partners from mountainous and rural European Union territories are conducting a two-year project that involves mapping and analyses of local hydropower and wind potential.

The six partners are Agency for Energy and Environment in the Province of Teramo (AGENA) of Italy; the Association of North Bohemian Municipalities, Czech Republic; Diputacion provincial de Huelva, Spain; Energikontor Sydest, Sweden; Energy Centre of Western Thessaly, Greece; and Sun Valley, Romania.

Energy potential from mini-hydroelectric and mini-wind installations will be mapped in the six regions participating in the rural renewable energy sources (RURAL-RES) project. Mapping will be done from existing information and through collection of missing data.

From a previous mapping exercise, three to five sites for hydropower are to be selected in each region for a pre-feasibility study and an impact assessment. A consultation process with stakeholders then will be initiated. The program is expected to encourage agreements to perform full business plans and to invest in at least one hydro plant per partner, corresponding to an overall power of 10 MW.

Participants launched RURAL-RES in 2008 to promote renewable electricity production by supporting local development of grid-connected mini-hydro plants and off-grid mini-wind installations in mountainous areas. It is expected to demonstrate exploitation of hydro and wind resources on a small scale can respect the environment and be compatible with other activities such as tourism.

Information developed in the project will be disseminated for replication. Cases studies are to be identified across the EU in both mini-hydro and mini-wind sectors, ESHA said. Plans also call for publication of a guide, 15 good practices on grid-connected mini-hydro power plants, for decision-makers, investors, and opinion leaders.

Czech firm to equip Finland's 1.76-MW Kuokkastenkoski

Mavel a.s. of the Czech Republic is supplying two 880-kW Kaplan turbines to the 1.76-MW Kuokkastenkoski hydroelectric project in Finland.

Kuokkastenkoski is owned by Pohjois-Karjalan Sahko Oy at a site 120 kilometers north of Kuopio. It has a net head of 10 meters and a flow of 20 cubic meters per second.

Mavel said it is to supply two KVK/D1450K5 double-regulated vertical Kaplan turbines with runner diameter of 1,450 millimeters and five runner blades. It also is to supply generators, draft tube, hydraulic system, lubrication, and cooling system. Vaasa Engineering Oy is supplying electrical equipment.

Mavel said the contract was signed in February 2009, with completion scheduled for December 2010.

Other Mavel orders in Europe include:

— Supplying a turbine for refurbishment of the 862-kW Finnholm hydroelectric project on the Ahtavanojoki River; and

— Supplying four 662-kW turbines and related equipment for the 2.65-MW Lovosice-Pistany 1 hydroelectric project in the Czech Republic.

Bosnia utility to build 17 small hydro plants

The utility serving Bosnia's Muslim-Croat federation, Elektroprivreda BiH (EPBiH), plans to invest 67.5 million marka (US$44.3 million) to build 17 small hydropower plants under a concession from the town of Konjic.

The plants, with total installed capacity of 22 MW, will be built on the Neretvica River in southeastern Bosnia and produce 83.5 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year, EPBiH said.

Konjic awarded a 30-year concession to EPBiH on condition that it employs up to 70 percent locals in construction work and respects environmental requirements.

U.K. to develop 25 projects on historic canal system

British Waterways and its partner Small Hydro Co. Ltd., a developer, are pursuing 25 small hydroelectric projects proposed for the United Kingdom. British Waterways, a public corporation, owns and maintains 3,500-kilometers of U.K. waterways, including rivers and 200-year-old canals.

British Waterways said more than 120 million pounds (US$166 million) of private capital will be invested over three years to develop the projects. It said the projects would generate 210,000 megawatt-hours of electricity from renewables each year, create 150 construction jobs, offset 110,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, enhance waterway biodiversity, and improve flood mitigation.

Prospective sites for the hydro venture feature weirs, which act as barriers to migratory fish. Plans call for adding fish passage facilities at each site. The hydro projects also would enable parties to lower water levels ahead of increased flows, offering better control of water.

The waterways originally were built for transportation but they now are mostly used mostly for recreational purposes. Millions of people visit the waterways each year.

Climate Change Capital, an investment manager and adviser that manages Ventus Funds, a large group of funds specifically targeted at the U.K. renewable energy sector, is supporting the program. Small Hydro Co. and Climate Change Capital said they intend to have the first projects developed under the scheme operating in 2010 to meet the government's renewables target of 10 percent.

Electricity generated by the projects would be fed into the national grid or provided to neighboring sites. British Waterways said it intends to reinvest its share of project revenue in the government's waterways network. Small Hydro Co., Exon, England is raising funds and providing expertise; it also expects to see a return on investment.

Miner forms renewables unit to expand Peru's 1.2-MW Tingo

Canada-based mining company Trevali Resources Corp. formed Trevali Renewable Energy Inc. to refurbish and expand the 1.2-MW Tingo hydroelectric project to power Trevali's Santander silver, lead, and zinc project in Peru.

Trevali Renewable entered an agreement with Peruvian bank Banco Internacional del Peru and corporate law firm Estudio Echecopar to arrange long-term credit facilities of about US$20 million.

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