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Small Hydro

Gilkes Energy completes work; breaks ground on two plants

Scotland's 1.9 MW Ederline project is now generating energy, developer Gilkes Energy Ltd. announces.

Located on the shores of Loch Awe, the hydroelectric plant is a joint venture between Gilkes Energy and the landowners, the Wilson family. The project includes a dam and is the largest developed to date by Gilkes Energy, whose recent work also includes a 730 kW project in Pitlochry and a 700 kW project near Glen Strathfarrar.

The company said it received planning permission and Scottish Environmental Protection Agency approval in 2011, with construction beginning in May 2012. Gilkes Energy said the project was completed on time and at budget, despite some delays regarding the United Kingdom's feed-in tariff scheme.

Gilkes Energy has also begun work on a new small hydropower project on the Atholl Estate near Perthshire.

The 1.7 MW Bruar plant will have a medium-head and single intake, with a high-pressure pipeline and twin Francis turbines. The project will rely on an existing dam to provide water storage.

Gilkes Energy received planning permission and a Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) Controlled Activities Regulations license in late 2012. The company said it then achieved financial closing with Downing Renewables after conducting a "detailed tendering and procurement exercise."

Gilkes Energy conducted a "turf cutting" ceremony in February, although substantial work on the Bruar project wasn't expected to begin for another few weeks. The project is planned to be put into operation by the end of 2015.

Italian utility awards contract for plant supply; plans projects

Edison S.p.A. has awarded a contract to Hydro Energia S.r.l. to supply two turbine-generators and other equipment for the 2.6 MW Fontanamora project.

Edison is a major Italian utility controlled by regional utility A2A and Electricite de France.

Hydro Energia is to design, manufacture, install, test and commission two Francis turbines and two synchronous generators of 1.3 MW each, as well as provide mechanical, electrical and automation equipment. The value of the contract was not specified.

The Fontanamora plant will be located in Bagolino, Italy.

In addition, Italian municipal water supplier Romagna Acque-Societa delle Fonti S.p.A plans to acquire turbine-generators and other equipment for four micro-hydropower projects in Italy totaling 575 kW, at a total cost of €820,000 (US$1.1 billion).

Romagna Acque says it is investing €1.7 million ($2.3 million) as part of its plans to begin exploiting the assets of its water distribution system to generate renewable energy.

The developer seeks companies to supply turbine-generators and other equipment for micro-hydropower projects along its water network downstream of Monte Casale Reservoir:

- 85 kW Forli, Forli Reservoir in Flori;

- 110 kW Cappuccini, Cappuccini Reservoir in Cesena;

- 110 kW Pariolino, Pariolino Reservoir in Riccione; and

- 270 kW Montalbano, Montalbano Reservoir in San Giovanni.

French commune awards contract for micro hydro projects

Ecowatt has been awarded a US$306,278 contract from the French commune of Voiron to supply and install two micro-hydro projects on a drinking water system.

Communate d'agglomeration du Pays Voironnais solicited bids for the project, which will see the construction of Chloration and Malossane on the Pommiers-la-Placette, begin in August. Work is expected to take 24 months.

Voiron is located in Isere Department in southeastern France, the location of a number of dams and hydropower projects, including Chambon Dam, the 1.8 MW Breda hydro project, and the 12 MW Drac Inferieur project.

Dominican Republic begins work on 18 MW Monte Grande

Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina recently inaugurated construction of the 18 MW Monte Grande hydropower plant.

The project will be a multipurpose scheme, the country's government said, with about 486,000 hectares of agricultural land expected to benefit from Monte Grande's reservoir.

The project is being coordinated by the Instituto Nacional de Recursos Hidraulicos (INDRHI).

Sources report that the Dominican Republic's government had signed a contract with Brazil's Andrade Gutierrez for development of Monte Grande in 2011, though work never began.

The plant will be located on the Yaque del Sur River in Barahona province.

Argentina to study sites in Mendoza Province

Argentina's federal planning ministry intends to survey and update feasibility studies of small hydropower sites in Mendoza Province.

Mendoza Province is the location of larger hydroelectric projects, including the 443 MW Los Blancos and 90 MW Portezuelo del Viento installations.

The ministry seeks a survey and study update of small hydro sites with capacity of 5 MW or less in Mendoza. The study is to identify existing studies of small hydro projects or sites with hydropower potential that currently are inactive on rivers, streams or canals. The chosen consultant will also prioritize the sites and develop basic engineering for the top three sites.

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