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Small Hydro

First wastewater project in Australia begins operation

The first hydro plant in Australia to generate power from treated sewage has been commissioned at North Head sewage plant in New South Wales.

The project was installed as part of a A$150 million (US$135 million) upgrade to the sewage treatment plant, government reports indicate.

Energy is generated from treated wastewater falling down a 60 meter-long shaft and will generate enough green energy to power almost 1,000 Australian homes for a year, the government reports.

The new hydro plant will reduce Sydney Water's greenhouse gas emissions by more than 12,000 tons of CO2 equivalent a year, reports indicate.

Four small hydropower projects completed in Nepal

The construction of four small hydro projects with a total installed capacity of 54 kW has been completed in Nepal's Sankhuwasabha district, regional media have reported.

The projects are Kusuwa Khola, Lakhu Khola, Hewa Khola, and Niduwa Khola, reports indicate. More than 500 households in the district will benefit from these projects, according to Rural Energy Development Programme coordinators.

The trend of constructing micro-hydro projects is increasing in districts that lack transmission lines connected to the national grid. Recently, a center for development of micro hydropower was set up in Nepal. The project is the first South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation level micro-hydropower center, regional media outlets reported.

According to wire services, the center will provide national- and international-level training on micro hydropower and exchange of ideas and experiences in the micro-hydropower sector.

Construction of more micro-hydro projects is expected to be completed by 2011, officials said, including 60 kW Shisuwakhola, 14 kW Deumai Khola, and 25 kW Sabhakhola.

The micro-hydro projects are being constructed with financial assistance from the District Development Committee, Energy and Environment Department in the district and Village Development Committees.

Repair work on Cavango project in Angola to begin in 2010

Work is planned to begin in 2010 to rebuild the Cavango small hydropower project in Angola, which was damaged during the Angolan Civil War, government officials reportedly told local media.

Reconstruction of the dam, powerhouse, small substation, and transmission lines, along with the assembly of low-tension cables and other operational equipment, are projected to cost the Huamba provincial government more than US$20 million, local media reports.

It is believed the project will have a capacity of about 10 MW.

Russia may construct 24 small hydropower plants

Russia's Chelyabinsk Region could see 24 small hydropower plants built by 2020, the press office of the regional economic development ministry states.

The development project was submitted for approval to regional Governor Mikhail Yurevich, who tasked municipal governments to start looking for investors. The proposed hydropower plants are projected to annually produce up to 50 GWh of electric power, improving power supplies to remote areas.

As of July 2010, all necessary technical documents and business plans had been prepared for the construction of five new hydropower plants in the region.

Brazil adds two small hydro plants to Reidi program

Brazil's mines and energy ministry has added two small hydropower plants to the government's special infrastructure development incentives program known as Reidi, wire services report.

The hydroelectric projects are the 9.6 MW Cascata Chupinguaia in the northern state of Rondonia and the 10 MW Agua Branca in the center-western state of Mato Grosso, the reports say.

Reidi provides incentives including a five-year tax holiday on goods and services and is part of the government's growth acceleration plan known as PAC.

Pakistan to design, build 2.6 MW Machai project

Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) is recruiting companies to design, supply equipment for, and construct the 2.6 MW Machai project.

NWFP's executing agency, Sarhad Hydel Development Organization (SHYDO), recruited consultants in 2008 for management, design, and supervision of Machai, on Machai Canal in Mardan District, as well as the 11.5 MW Ranolia Khwar project. It took bids in May to design and build Ranolia Khwar.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is funding a renewable energy development sector investment program for Pakistan, including construction of hydropower projects and a wind farm. ADB also lent Pakistan US$510 million under the program for a series of small hydro project "clusters" to be built in the North West Frontier and the Punjab.

Machai is to be completed in 18 months and includes a diversion canal, cofferdams, a spillway, a powerhouse with one vertical double-regulated Kaplan turbine-generator, a transformer, a switchyard, a 12 km-long transmission line, and a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system.

Small hydropower projects approved in Scotland

The Scottish government has approved a small hydropower project to be developed by RWE npower renewables in Scotland.

The 3 MW Cia-Aig project, to be located near Achnacarry in Inverness-shire, will be powered by the flow of the Abhainn Chia-aig River. Construction on the Cia-Aig hydro scheme is expected to begin in 2011 and will take about 18 months to complete.

In related news, the government has also approved four small hydro projects north of Loch Lomond with a combined generating capacity of 6.7 MW. The project site is entirely within the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, local media reports indicate.

Osspower Ltd. had previously submitted applications to Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority to construct and operate the four projects.

The planning authority raised no objections to the applications, subject to several conditions. Scotland's environmental regulator supported the application subject to the imposition of conditions to protect the water environment, the reports say.

The government's target is to meet 50 percent of the country's electricity demand from renewables by 2020.

Czech Republic revisits plan to build 750 kW Velky Osek

Developer MVE Velky Osek s.r.o. is again working to build a powerhouse for the 750 kW Velky Osek project in the Czech Republic.

MVE Velky Osek previously called for bids earlier this year and in 2009 and 2008 for construction of a powerhouse and switchyard at the Velky Osek weir and lock. The structure eventually will house three 250 kW Kaplan turbine-generators.

The developer maintained the estimated maximum cost of the project at CZK170 million (US$8 million). The work now is to be performed between August 2010 and December 2011.

Liberia to construct micro-hydro project, transmission network

Liberia's Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy is working to build the 60 kW Yandohun project and associated transmission and distribution networks.

The government has applied to the World Bank to fund a program titled: ‘Catalyzing New Renewable Energy in Rural Liberia'. Liberia has suffered from electricity shortages made worse by a period of war and civil unrest.

The energy program seeks bids to build the Yandohun project and the electricity networks needed to serve Yandohun village in Liberia's Lofa County. The work is anticipated to require 12 months.

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