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Uganda's 3.5 MW Paidha plant now operational

Developer West Nile Rural Electrification Company Ltd. (WENRECo) commissioned the 3.5 MW Paidha run-of-river plant in September. Paidha, on the Nyagak River in Northern Uganda, is the first hydro project in Africa to qualify for funding from the World Bank's Prototype Carbon Fund, WENRECo says. The plant will provide a source of electricity for the West Nile sub-region.

Construction of the US$8.5 million project included the powerhouse, a 75 meter-long concrete gravity dam, a 48 meter-long bridge, the intake building, and a 131 meter-long tunnel along the route of a pipeline inlet channel. The facility houses two turbine units provided by Czech manufacturer Mavel a.s. The generated electricity will be distributed via a 1 km-long, 33 kv transmission line constructed in 2006 to the districts of Nebbi, Koboko and Arua.

WENRECo, a subsidiary of Indus-trial Promotion Services, received financial support from Germany's KfW Bankengruppe and the World Bank, and was licensed to generate and sell electricity in the West Nile region in April 2003.

The Paidha plant boasts a 75 meter-long concrete gravity dam with a 48 meter-long bridge.
The Paidha plant boasts a 75 meter-long concrete gravity dam with a 48 meter-long bridge.

Philippine government auctioning 40 mini-hydropower projects

The Philippine Department of Energy will auction at least 40 potential mini-hydroelectric project sites for exploration and development in the end of 2012.

The prospective projects are run-of-river sites with capacities of 1 to 2 MW each. Located on the Luzon and Visayas islands, the sites are open for bidding. The government hopes to develop these sites to a total capacity of 250 MW in the first three years of the program.

Offers will be submitted to the Department of Energy, which will judge each bid based on its financial and technical programs. "Under these contracts, project proponents will still need to conduct a two-year feasibility study to determine whether the flow of the river is sufficient for their project," says DoE Undersecretary Jose Layug.

According to director of the Renewable Energy Management Bureau of the Department of Energy, Mario Mrasigan, the DoE is in the process of preparing to receive an influx of bids in the largest single offering of mini-hydro projects to date in the private sector.

ZRE Gdansk S.A. wins rehab, overhaul contract

Polish utility Tauran Ekoenergia sp.z.o.o has awarded a contract worth US$12 million to ZRE Gdansk S.A. for work at the 7.585 MW Pilchowice facility on Poland's Bobr River.

Work on the project includes the replacement of Units TZ-1 through TZ-4 and TZ-6, plus the refurbishment of Unit TZ-5. The utility says turbines, generators and excitation systems will all be overhauled, with automation and protection systems, swithgear, transformers, valves, a crane, and steel pipelines to be replaced.

Owner Tauron Ekoenergia says the work is expected to require 30 months for completion.

Albion Ventures LLP partnering with Dragon Hydro on project

London-based capital investment group Albion Ventures LLP is moving into the hydropower generation industry by partnering with Dragon Hydro Limited in a new scheme.

Albion is reportedly investing US$2 million into a 300 kW hydropower plant in Gwyned, Wales, on the Afon Cadair River. Dragon Hydro, the UK-based engineering firm designing the project, stated that the completed project has the potential to produce 1,300 MWh annually for the region. The project will utilize run-of-river hydropower to generate power, a technology Dragon Hydro says is "almost invisible… generating power in a way that helps to preserve the natural beauty which surrounds them."

"This investment highlights Albion's continued commitment to the renewables sector," says Albion partner Michael Kaplan. "The investment will provide attractive long-term returns for our shareholders. Hydropower is the oldest renewable technology and we are very pleased that the government continues to support small-scale hydro through feed-in-tariffs."

The feed-in-tariff system was introduced by the government of the UK in 2010 to allow renewable energy resource owners to earn revenue through generation and exportation to the power grid.

The project will be developed on land owned by Cader Idris Farms and Estate. Cader Idris partner Gary Markham stated that the project "fits well with our existing organic farming business; hydro power being a natural low impact activity in this fragile landscape. We are delighted to have both Albion and Dragon Hydro to develop the project; both have demonstrated considerable professionalism whilst being sympathetic to local farming businesses."

The project is scheduled to be operational in the third quarter of 2013.

Construction under way at 7 MW Tudaya 2 plant

Construction is under way on Hedcor Inc.'s 7 MW Tudaya 2 power plant. The Tudaya 2 plant will utilize water from Tudaya Falls in Mount Apo National Park, located in the Philippines' Davao del Sur Province. The project is estimated to cost Hedcor Inc. — a subsidiary of AboitizPower Corporation — a total of US$23,576,600.

According to AoitizPower President Errmon Aboitiz, the project will provide "reliable, dependable, and competitively priced power, thereby strengthening the region's position as a destination for business, investment and tourism."

Power generated by the 7 MW plant will be sold to the Davao del Sur Cooperative Inc., a regional organization with the goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions for the region by more than 30,000 tons each year.

Tudaya's carbon neutrality qualifies it for registration under the Clean Development Mechanism of the United Nation's Framework Convention on Climate Change. This designation allows the company to sell certified emission reduction units to industrialized countries.

Hedcor President Rene Ronquillo states, "As one of the largest producers of renewable energy in the country, the Tudaya Hydro 2 is our contribution to the worldwide effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

President and chief operating officer of Hedcor Tudaya Inc. Rene Ronquillo broke ground on the Tudaya 2 plant, along with Hedcor engineers.
President and chief operating officer of Hedcor Tudaya Inc. Rene Ronquillo broke ground on the Tudaya 2 plant, along with Hedcor engineers.

The plant will be completed in the first quarter of 2014 and will create an estimated 400 employment opportunities.

Four small hydropower plants slated for India's Uttar Pradesh

Infrastructure and industrial development commissioner Anil K. Gupta has approved bidders for four hydropower projects in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh that will have a combined capacity of 3.4 MW.

The plants will be developed by public-private partnerships AMR Power Private Limited and Oasis Contractors and Consultants Private Limited. AMR received the bid for the 750 kW Akbarpur project in Bulandshahar and the 550 kW Kutkubpur project in Meerut. Oasis Contractors will develop the 1,800 kW Betwa-1 project in Jhansi and the 300 kW Dhakauli project in Meerut.

The state cabinet and Uttar Pradesh energy task force has yet to grant final approval on the projects. Once the approval is given, the lowest tariffs will be sent to the electricity regulatory commission of Uttar Pradesh to draft letters of intent for the developers.

New project development in Vietnam, Brazil, France

Vietnam's Central Power Corp. is in the early stages of the development process of the 7.2-MW A Roang hydroelectric project in A Luoi district of Thusa Thien Hue province. The project is funded by the Asian Development bank for renewable energy development and network expansion.

Construction will begin soon on the Jequital 1 hydroelectric project in the Sao Francisco valley of Brazil. Developed by a government-owned company, Companhia de Desenvolvimento dos Vales do Sao Francisco e do Parnaiba (Codesvasf), the 8.25-MW project includes a roller-compacted-concrete dam, intake and powerhouse containing a single Kaplan turbine and three-phase synchronous generator. The facility will provide flood control and power generation for Brazil's Sao Francisco and Parnaiba valleys.

French energy company Energie Developpement Services du Brianconnais (EDSB) is in the early stages of development for the Fontenil hydroelectric project. Located on Durance River in Briancon, the project will have a capacity of 2.46 MW.

Briefly…

SITSE awarded a contract to Tesla SA to construct a small hydropower turbine in Switzerland's Terre Sainte area. Work is expected to be complete by August 2013 ... Hydroelectric production at Windsor Castle has been delayed following complications with the project's 11 kV transmission line. The scheme includes two Archimedes screw turbines and will have a capacity of 300 kW when completed. … The Philippine Department of Energy and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are partnering to develop hydroelectric plants in the Isabela and Ifugao provinces of the Philippines. JICA has committed about US$12 million of funding to developing small hydro in the region.


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