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Small Hydro

Kinlochleven scheme approved in Scotland

A new small hydro project has been given the go-ahead by the Scottish government. The 5 MW development is at Loch Eilde Mor, near Kinlochleven.

The government also approved refurbishment of the Innerhadden scheme near Kinloch Rannoch in Perth and Kinross, which will involve the installation of two new weirs with self-cleaning screens. Its expected capacity is 1.4 MW.

The government’s target is to meet the equivalent of 100% of electricity demand from renewable sources by 2020. In 2009, 27% of the country’s electricity demand came from renewables. Current renewables capacity is about 7,000 MW installed, under construction or consented around Scotland, which will take the country beyond the interim target of 31% of electricity demand from renewables by 2011.

The government has determined 52 energy applications, including approval for 43 new renewable and three non-renewable projects since May 2007. Another 33 applications (four hydro, 24 onshore wind and five thermal) are being processed.

Pakistan to build 4.2 MW Nai Gaj facility

Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) plans to hire a consultant to supervise construction of the 4.2 MW Nai Gaj project on the Gaj River in Sindh Province.

Nai Gaj is to include a 194 foot-tall, 3,875 foot-long earth core rockfill dam and powerhouse.

WAPDA said construction supervision is to be undertaken through engineering consulting firms or joint ventures of domestic and foreign consultants who are registered with the Pakistan Engineering Council.

Two German utilities seek equipment

German municipal utility EVH GmbH is seeking construction and equipment for a 430 kW project to be built on the Halle weir in the city of Halle.

EVH plans to build the two-unit project on the Saale River, with work to begin in January 2012 and be completed in September 2013.

EVH seeks a new powerhouse, rebuilding the city weir, construction of a new fish transfer channel, pilings and excavation, access roads and facilities, turbine-generators and other equipment, and hydraulic steelwork.

In addition, municipal utility Stadtwerke Augsburg Energie GmbH is seeking turbine-generators for the 3 MW Hochablass project.

Stadtwerke Augsburg plans to install two 1.5 MW units at the Hochablass weir. It will hire a company to design, supply, install and commission the two units, including regulation and control technology, it says. The work is expected to begin in October and be completed in August 2013.

UK releases plan for microgeneration, including hydro

The UK government has released an action plan to promote microgeneration and decentralized energy in the country, including measures that allow greater flexibility for the development of small hydropower facilities.

The strategy includes actions to improve the Microgeneration Certifi-cation Scheme process, making it work more effectively for producers while continuing to protect consumers — for example, by allowing greater flexibility in the treatment of micro-hydropower installations. This will be taken forward through the feed-in tariffs comprehensive review, which was to be launched in the summer of 2011.

The British Hydropower Association said it welcomes the government’s recently announced strategy because it is timely and finally acknowledges that micro-hydro is substantially different from other small-scale renewable technologies, such as wind and solar.

Czech firm working to equip Roudnice, build Doudlevce

Hydro developer RenoEnergie a.s. is seeking to equip the 4.2 MW Roudnice project on the Elbe River and to build the 180 kW Doudlevce project on the Radbuza River in the Czech Republic.

Roudnice is to have a head of 2.2 meters and flows of 225 m3/sec. The work is expected to require 19 months at a cost of CZK130 million to 170 million (US$7.6 million to $10 million).

Work to build the Doudlevce project is to require 10 months at a cost of CZK15 million to 20 million ($885,523 to $1.18 million).

Norway firm seeks unit, new plant for 19 MW Vittingfoss

Norway generator Ringeriks-Kraft Produksjon AS is seeking a turbine, a generator and construction of a new powerhouse at the 19 MW Vittingfoss project.

The firm has a site license to add a new Unit 5 with a capacity of 8 to 16 MW at the run-of-river plant in Buskerud County. It said it plans a new surface powerhouse for an expansion at the side of the existing powerhouse.

Equipment to be installed at this plant includes a vertical Kaplan turbine designed for a head of 19.5 meters and total flow of 65 to 80 m3/sec. Estimated value is NOK25 million to 35 million (US$4.68 million to $6.5 million). The company also plans to install a three-phase 50 Hz generator to be directly run by the turbine. That contract’s estimated value is NOK25 million to 30 million ($4.68 million to $5.6 million).

Finally, a new powerhouse will be built alongside the existing plant. Work is to include demolition of the existing dam and concrete works in connection with a new dam. That contract’s estimated value is NOK35 million to 50 million ($6.5 million to $9.3 million).

Rwanda promoting micro-hydro development

The government of Rwanda plans to hire consultants to promote development of micro-hydropower.

The government has received financing from the World Bank’s Global Environment Facility to promote sustainable energy including small hydropower. A consultant to the World Bank recruited consultants in April to assess the potential commercial market for off-grid pico- and micro-hydropower plants of less than 50 kW in Rwanda.

The Ministry of Infrastructure — represented by the Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) — now plans to hire consultants to support the ministry in development of micro-hydropower sites in Rwanda, with a strong focus on increasing private-sector participation.

In addition, EWSA plans to hire a consultant to review existing regulations and guidelines for the purpose of recommending improvements or new guidelines and regulations that would stimulate micro-hydropower development in Rwanda. The consultant is to determine optimum regulatory conditions to promote further private investments for developing new micro-hydro plants and to govern transfer of existing publicly owned micro-hydro plants to the private sector.

Salto Andersen project comes online in Argentina

Argentina’s 9.4 MW Salto Andersen project, in Rio Negro province, has started supplying power to the national grid.

The construction contract for this project was awarded to Spanish group Isolux Corsan in a public tender.

Investment in the Salto Andersen project is expected to hit US$27 million, double original estimates in 2007, Business News Americas reports.

Ex-minister calls on Chile to change small hydro definition

Chile’s government needs to reform existing classifications for run-of-river hydropower projects in order to achieve its target of 20% of electricity supplied by ‘non-conventional’ renewable energy capacity by 2020, according to the country’s former energy minister Ricardo Raineri.

Current energy laws stipulate that hydropower projects with a capacity of more than 20 MW do not qualify as non-conventional renewable energy.

As a result, executives from several energy companies operating in the country have called on the government to amend this regulation, Business News Americas reported recently.

Experts counter by arguing that the construction of smaller dams is the best way the government can reach its 20% by 2020 target. Run-of-river hydro, they claim, is both easier and cheaper than developing other non-conventional renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar and geothermal projects.

Briefly…

Russian energy producer RusHydro plans to construct as many as 15 small projects in the republic of Northern Ossetia. The plants are to be built on the Fiagdon and Uruh rivers, as well as the Ardon River confluent rivers — Sadonka, Arkhondon, Tsmikomdon and others. Time frames for the projects have not been disclosed. … The government of Angola is planning to construct as many as 150 small hydro projects, government sources report. Construction of these projects is part of a strategic plan aimed to improve and expand the power network countrywide. The time frame for construction of the hydro projects and the planned locations are not available.

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