Small Hydro

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Gilkes completes micro hydro project in Scotland

A micro hydro project developed by Gilkes Energy Ltd. and a Scottish family is now producing energy.

Called the Frenich Hydro Project, the 730 kW project is located on the shores of Loch Tummel in Scotland, on land owned by the McKerrow family.

Gilkes Energy — a subsidiary of Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon Ltd. — said it started conducting initial feasibility studies for the plant in 2009 before receiving planning permission and Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) approval in 2011.

Construction began in April 2011, with Hydroplan acting as lead consultant and D.A. MacDonald from Lochgilphead serving as lead civil contractor.

"We are very pleased to have generated our first unit of energy," landowner Penny McKerrow said. "After almost four years of work, it is really exciting to see this project come to fruition."

The Frenich powerhouse features a twin jet Pelton turbine, manufactured by Gilkes, allowing it to maintain high efficiency across a wide range of flow conditions, the company said.

Cavernoso 2 project begins commercial operation

Brazil's Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletricqa (ANEEL) has given the go-ahead for commercial operation of the 18.9 MW Cavernoso 2 plant.

Located in the country's southern Parana State, Cavernoso 2 includes three 6.3 MW turbines and will feed power to the cities of Virmond and Candoi.

The hydro project is owned by utility Companhia Paranaense de Energia Electrica (Copel) and was announced in March 2011 as part of the Brazilian government's special infrastructure development program, known as Reidi.

Work on Suweco's Cawayan project nearly complete

The Sunwest Water and Electric Company (Suweco) plans to begin operations of its 600 kW Cawayan micro hydro project in early summer, the renewable energy developer said.

The US$1.96 million Cawayan project is located in Sorsogon, a province of the Phillipines, and is a joint venture between Suweco and the Sorsogon II Electric Cooperative.

Suweco said small hydropower projects fit the company's objective of bringing electricity to locations where larger projects are prohibitive.

"We develop projects regardless of size as we believe that, in unison, small projects will provide a big contribution to our communities through all the direct and indirect benefits brought about by our projects to our host communities," said Suweco President Jose Silvestre M. Natividad. "Thus we provide a window for a better way of life and better future where communities co-exist with a vibrant ecosystem."

Tajikistan to build six small hydro projects

Tajikistan will be home to six new small hydropower plants by the end of the year, according to a release from the country's Ministry of Energy and Industry.

The capacities of the new hydroelectric projects, two of which are to be built on the Aksu river in Murghab district, will range from 300 kW to 1 MW, the ministry said, with a cumulative capacity of just over 2 MW.

The projects are being funded by a mixture of domestic and foreign investments and will be located primarily within Tajikistan's mountainous Gorno-Badakhsha region.

The ministry said Tajikistan is home to more than 300 small hydro projects, including the 9.5 MW Varjob plant that was completed in January.

Construction of 7.5 MW Glasa hydropower project to proceed

Scottish utility company SSE plc has confirmed it will proceed in constructing the 7.5 MW Glasa hydroelectric plant near Ardross in Ross-shire, Scotland.

The project — previously called Kildermorie — was approved by Scottish ministers in 2010 before being tabled due to concerns about the future of the U.K.'s Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) program.

"The support given by the Scottish government in retaining the ROC banding for new hydro effectively led to SSE's decision to proceed with the Glasa scheme," SSE Managing Director of Renewables Jim Smith said.

Construction on the project is expected to begin this summer, with completion scheduled for fall 2015. SSE said the project will be the largest hydropower plant built in the U.K. in more than five years and the second largest conventional project to be built in more than half a century.

The company noted that the announcement came just hours before Scottish hydropower developers gathered to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the country's Hydro-Electric Development Act of 1943, which helped create dozens of hydroelectric plants that are still in use today.

"Hydroelectricity and its role in producing Scotland's energy is one of the greatest industrial success stories of post-war Britain," Smith said. "Hydro drove not only industrial development, but also immense social achievement — something which still rings true today as the Scottish government continues to grow delivery of clean energy through renewables schemes for the 21st century."

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