Hydropower

Small Hydro

Issue 6 and Volume 21.

MTD Philippines announces plans for 10 projects

MTD Philippines will develop 10 small hydropower projects in Filipino province. The 10 run-of-river plants will have capacities of 5 MW to 19 MW, with a cumulative capacity of about 80 MW. The projects represent a total investment of about US$280 million.

MTD Philippines — a unit of the Alloy MTD Group — said most of the energy produced by the plants will be sold to power co-ops at rates dictated by the Philippines Department of Energy’s feed-in tariff rates. The DOE has already approved four of the projects and is expected to approve the others soon.

Assuming the company receives the go-ahead, MTD Philippines officials said they will likely begin the bidding process to determine an engineering, procurement and construction contractor by the end of the year.

Developer moves ahead with Vietnam’s 5 MW Ea K’Tour project

A 5 MW plant is undergoing the final steps before construction begins in China’s Chu Yang Sin National Park, despite opposition from some in the Dak Lak province.

The Ea K’tour hydroelectric project — approved in 2005 by the provincial People’s Committee — is being contested by the Central Highlands Steering Committee, which fears construction of the plant might pose a threat to wildlife within the park.

The park’s director, Tong Ngoc Chung, said the project could disrupt stream flows within the park, drying up as much as a 3 km section and damaging habitats for rare and endangered endemic species. Developer Hoang Nguyen Co. Ltd. said opponents are exaggerating the project’s impact while overlooking the fact that it will generate revenue for the province.

Chu Yang Sin National Park is home to two small hydro projects, an 11 MW project that is already in operation and a 200 kW project that is under construction.

Hydrohrom wins upgrade contract for 132 kW Bruree project

Hydrohrom s.r.o. of the Czech Republic has been awarded a US$241,660 contract by small hydro operator Bruree Hydro to replace turbine-generator units at the 132 kW Bruree hydropower plant on the Limerick River in Ireland.

Hydrohrom is to replace the project’s three units, increasing capacity to 140 kW. The company will supply a new 140 kW turbine-generator package, an emergency shutoff device, and a hydraulic actuator.

Ireland has about 50 small hydro projects currently operating.

Sunbury Weir micro hydro project halted by local council

Plans to install a 440 kW hydro project at Sunbury Weir on the River Thames have been suspended due to concerns about the developer’s proposal.

The plan — submitted by developer Heather-Parker Projects — includes the installation of four 3.8 meter-diameter Archimedes Screw turbines, a generator building, alterations to the weir’s walkway, a fish habitat, turbine intake and canoe pass.

HP Projects’ scheme was opposed by the Save Sunbury Lock Island (SSLI) group, which collected more than 500 signatures on a petition asking the Elmbridge Borough Council to require further information from the developer.

Amongst SSLI’s concerns were questions regarding discrepancies and omissions in HP Projects’ proposal — particularly regarding consideration for the borough’s tree protection plan and issues caused by excavation work near the lock.

The council said the project’s application could be reactivated, but not until further consultations are conducted.

Voith announces expansions to Kossler turbine plant

An expansion of Voith subsidiary Kossler GmbH & Co KG’s Austrian site marks a significant investment in the future of its small hydroelectric turbine manufacturing capabilities, the company says.

Located in Sankt Georgen am Steinfeld, the Kossler plant will manufacture Voith’s “StreamDiver” turbine-generator units, which have now been “running in trouble-free test operation” for a year now, according to the company.

“We are creating better working conditions for our employees and more space for manufacturing our products and, in doing so, upgrade the entire plant with its existing buildings,” Kossler Managing Director Josef Lampl said.

The expanded facility will allow Kossler to increase its production from 40 turbines per year to about 70, the company said.

The StreamDiver units are intended for use in small hydropower applications. Voith Hydro said their design makes them “particularly eco-friendly,” allowing the units to be installed in places where other types of hydro turbines might be prohibited or impractical.

The units were developed by Kossler, along with partners EVN Naturkraft GmbH, Wien Energie GmbH and Grenzkraftwerk GmbH. Voith acquired Kossler in 2007.

Briefly…

Turbine manufacturer Mavel and hydro project developer Hidrotenencias S.A. announced commissioning of the 10 MW Las Perlas Sur hydropower plant in June. This facility is part of the 30 MW Piedra River Cascade, which is located along the Piedra River in Panama’s Chiriqui Province. Although construction of the Piedra River Cascade project is complete, the companies’ relationship continues, as Mavel will use its remote monitoring and diagnostic system to evaluate the plants from its engineering base in the Czech Republic.

For more small hydro news, see the Hydro Project Activity tab at  HydroWorld.com