Small Hydro

Two small projects being developed in Indonesia

Indonesia is proving appealing for the development of small hydropower facilities, with two companies investing in construction of multiple projects.

First, Asian financial firm Armstrong Asset Management plans to spend up to US$22.5 million to develop and operate a 50 MW portfolio of mini-hydroelectric plants in Indonesia. The portfolio is being developed by construction company PT Nusa Konstruksi Enjiniring Tbk (NKE), which is a subsidiary of PT Inti Duta Energi (IDE).

“We look forward to building on our excellent working relationship with the IDE team, whose project development and technical capabilities are well recognized in the mini-hydro market Indonesia,” Armstrong Partner Michael McNeill said. “We expect to deploy our capital rapidly to deliver high-quality mini-hydro assets to support the sustainable development of Indonesia.”

NKE has more than 50 MW of small hydro projects in various stages of the permitting process, Armstrong said, with the first — a 5 MW plant in Java — expected to be operational by the second quarter of 2016. A trio of plants in Sumatra with a combined capacity of 21 MW are planned for completion by the end of that year.

Indonesia is particularly appealing for small hydro investments, Armstrong said, due to a revised feed-in tariff system and the country’s desire to cultivate its renewable sector.

Second, Dutch consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV is developing four projects along the Merawu River that will add a cumulative capacity of about 15.6 MW to the country’s grid.

To be located in the Central Java province, the projects include 6 MW of plants in Kerekan and Pandensari, a 2.4 MW plant in Watupayang, and a 1.2 MW plant in Tempuran.

The projects represent the first phase in an agreement with Indonesian energy investment from TIRASA that ultimately seeks to develop more than 100 MW of hydroelectric power by 2018. A 2012 report said Indonesia’s power generating capacities are insufficient, currently producing enough energy for 66% of the country’s needs.

The company said the US$30 million investment is expected to turn a profit within seven years.

Hydroelectric power returns to England’s Cragside estate

The world’s first home to be lit by hydroelectricity is once again being powered by water following the installation of a new Archimedes screw turbine at England’s Cragside estate.

Lord William Armstrong first began using water from the estate’s five lakes to generate power in the late 1870s, bringing Cragside’s story full-circle, according to the National Trust, which has curated the site since 1977.

Water for the Archimedes screw will be drawn from Tumbleton Lake, which is the lowest of the estate’s reservoirs. The water will turn a 17 m-long galvanized turbine with a capacity of 12 kW. The National Trust said this is enough to power all of Cragside’s 350 light bulbs over the course of a year.

The organization said it chose an Archimedes screw design not only for its ability to generate power at a low speed, but for its ability to allow for safe fish passage.

The National Trust plans to power each of its 43 historic properties with renewable energy.

Mibugawa announces new small hydropower project for Fukushima

Mibugawa Power and its subsidiary, Marubeni, have begun construction of a 175 kW project in Fukushima Prefecture’s Minami Aisu County.

The hydro plant is the first to be constructed in Minami Aizu County since Japan’s 2011 earthquake and is part of a Reconstruction Design Council plan to make Fukushima a “frontier land of renewable energy.”

The plant will sit on private and public land, with water being drawn from the Osawa River. Power generated by the project will be sold for more than 20 years under Japan’s feed-in tariff scheme, Mibugawa Power said.

Marubeni said it plans to develop around 30 small and medium hydro facilities by 2020.

Volcan buys 1.25 MW Tingo plant from Trevali

Peruvian mining company Volcan has submitted a corporate filing to capital market regulator Superintendencia del Mercado de Valores (SMV) to purchase the 1.25 MW Tingo hydropower project.

The plant, formerly owned by Trevali Renewable Energy Inc., is expended to have a capacity of almost 9 MW. The US$13.5 million deal also includes two power lines, with energy being produced at Tingo being sold by Volcan back to Trevali under a nine-year agreement.

The Canadian Trevali Resource Corporation announced the creation of the renewable arm in March 2009 for the express purpose of developing the Tingo plant.

Rwanda completes 2.2 MW Rukarara 2 small hydropower project

Rwanda officials are hoping a recently completed 2.2 MW Runkarara 2 hydro station will help improve the lives of residents in the country’s rural Nyamagabe district. Work on the US$13.12 million plant began in 2011, with funding provided by the Rwandan government, the Belgian Technical Cooperation and the European Union.

The project is fully automated and controlled remotely, officials said, and will provide power after transmission lines are completed.

Only about 18% of Rwanda’s population is connected to the country’s national grid, although the government is hoping to cover at least 70% within the next two years.

“We recognize the importance of energy in economic development, Minister for Infrastructure, Silas Lwakabamba, said. “Electricity has proven to stimulate the small and medium enterprise that helps transform peoples’ lives.”

Runkarara 2 is an addition to the 6 MW Rukarara 1 project completed in 2011.

RusHydro to construct three small plants in North Caucasus region

Russian energy giant RusHydro will develop three small hydro plants in the North Caucasus region after the projects were selected through a recent renewable energy sources auction.

Included are 10 MW Sengileevskaya, 5.04 MW Barsuchkovskaya and 5.6 MW Ust-Dzhegutinskaya — each of which will be commissioned in 2017 and covered by a 15-year capacity supply agreement with basic annual returns of up to 14%.

Sengileevskaya will be constructed near the existing 15 MW Sengileevskaya project, where it will help reduce silting of the Sengileevskaya reservoir. The reservoir serves as the main source of water for the city of Stavropol.

Barsuchkovskaya will be built on the tailrace of the regulating reservoir for the Kuban Cascade, with the plant to use excess water following the conversion of RusHydro’s Nevinnomysskaya cogeneration plant to a closed-cycle water supply.

Lastly, Ust-Dzhegutinskaya will be on the Ust-Dzhegutinskaya Hydrotechnical Complex, which serves as an intake to the Large Stavropol canal.

RusHydro said the capital expenditure per kW of installed capacity will be about US$4,247, with equipment to be supplied by local manufacturers per localization requirements.

Development of small hydro in the North Caucasus region is a “high priority” given the area’s shortage of generation capacity and “natural conditions favorable for such projects,” RusHydro said.

Los Andes Copper, Icafal announce plans for 30 MW project in Chile

Vancouver, Canada-based Los Andes Copper Ltd. has entered into an agreement with Icafal Inversiones SA to develop and finance a 28 to 30 MW hydropower plant on the Rocin River in Chile.

Acting through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Rocin SpA, Los Andes will incorporate a new subsidiary company to own, develop, build and operate the Rocin project.

Meanwhile, Icafal SA, parent company of Icafal Inversiones, has agreed to invest US$7.5 million into the subsidiary. About US$2 million of the investment will be used to finance the development of the plant, with the remainder to partially fund construction pending the project’s regulatory approvals.

The investment also gives Icafal a 36.3% stake in the unnamed subsidiary.

Los Andes said it expects the development and construction of the proposed Rocin project to take a maximum of four years, at which point revenues generated by the project will provide working capital for exploration and feasibility work at the company’s Vizcachitas mining operation.

ADB provides loan, grant for Solomon Islands’ 750 kW Fiu River plant

The Asian Development Bank has signed grant and loan agreements with the Solomon Islands to help develop the 750 kW Fiu River project in Malaita province. The package includes a US$6 million loan and $6 million grant and was signed by ADB Vice President Lakshmi Venkatachalama and Solomon Islands’ Minister of Finance and Treasure, Rick Houenipwela.

An agreement was also signed with the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority, whose Solomon Islands Provincial Renewable Energy Project is working to replace its diesel fleet with renewable sources. The country’s government is contributing $3 million to the project via the electricity authority.

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