Small Hydro

Hydro Tasmania Consulting to develop six mini-hydros

Melbourne Water awarded a A$25 million (US$23 million) contract to Hydro Tasmania Consulting to develop six mini-hydropower projects on water supply reservoirs.

The power plants, which will total 7 mw, are to be built at Mt. View, Notting Hill, Olinda, Preston, Silvan, and Upper Yarra reservoirs.

Hydro Tasmania Consulting, a subsidiary of utility Hydro Tasmania, said Tyco Tamar would supply mechanical, electrical, and control equipment. Geotechnical Engineering is to perform civil work.

The projects are to produce 40 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually and offset up to 52,400 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, Melbourne Water said.

Study recommends fundingAfghan small hydro projects

A consultant’s report recommends the Asian Development Bank provide US$48.26 million toward the cost of rehabilitating or developing three small hydropower projects in rural areas of Afghanistan.

Engconsult Ltd. of Canada and ECL Consultants Ltd. of Bangladesh assessed a proposed hydropower development program intended to invest in small to medium projects for underserved and off-grid areas of Afghanistan.

The report recommends proceeding with rehabilitation of one project and construction of two new projects for a total of 21.5 mw at a cost of US$70.3 million:

  • Rehabilitation of grid-connected 9-mw Puli Khumri 2 on the Kunduz River in Baghlan Province at a cost of US$18.9 million;
  • Construction of non-grid-connected 2.1-mw Baharak on the Warduj River in Badakhshan Province at a cost of US$23.8 million; and
  • Construction of grid-connected 10.4-mw Khanabad 2 on the Khanabad River in Kunduz Province at a cost of US$27.6 million.

Brazilian utility transfers159 mw to renewables unit

Brazilian utility Energias do Brasil (EDB) assigned a portfolio of 159 mw in small hydropower projects to Enernova, its newly created developer of renewable energy projects.

EDB, a subsidiary of Energias de Portugal, said its goal is for Enernova to have, by 2012, a portfolio of more than 1,000 mw of renewable energy generation, including small hydro, biomass, and wind parks.

EDB is transferring to Enernova 13 small hydropower projects totaling 159 mw in Mato Grosso do Sul and Espirito Santo states.

Twelve projects are operating:

  • In Mato Grosso do Sul State: 16-mw Costa Rica, 400-kw Coxim, 29.5-mw Mimoso, 21-mw Paraiso, 660-kw Sao Joao 1, and 600-kw Sao Joao 2;
  • In Espirito Santo State: 2.056-mw Alegre, 8.736-mw Fruteiras, 4.84-mw Jucu, 16.8-mw Rio Bonito, 25-mw Sao Joao, and 4.5-mw Vicosa.

The 13th project, 29-mw Santa Fe, is under construction in Espirito Santo.

EDB said Enernova also has feasibility studies for another 24 small hydro projects totaling 538 mw.

Honduras’ 12.2-mw Cuyamapawins carbon credit approval

The United Nations’ (U.N.) Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) agency approved an application by the 12.2-mw Cuyamapa hydroelectric project in Honduras to sell carbon emissions credits.

The Executive Board of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change issued a registration for the run-of-river project with a daily regulation dam on the Cuyamapa River in Yoro Department.

Developer ENETRAN and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration applied for permission to sell carbon emission reductions (CER) equal to 35,660 metric tons of carbon dioxide that the project is to avoid each year.

Cuyamapa is to produce an average of 48,190 megawatt-hours annually for sale to the national grid under a 15-year power sales contract to national utility Empresa Nacional de Energia Electrica. It features two 6.1-mw horizontal Pelton turbines and a head of 368.3 meters.

Applicants said revenue from sale of CERs would help the project overcome development barriers including access to finance.

Voith Siemens to acquireAustria’s Kossler

The Austrian unit of Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation said it plans to acquire Austria hydropower builder Kossler GmbH Maschinenfabrik, subject to antitrust approval.

Kossler, a provider of small hydropower engineering, manufacturing, and execution, is to become part of the German-based Small Hydro Division of Voith Siemens. It is to continue business as a daughter company of St. Polten-based Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation GmbH & Co. KG.

Norway utility brings6.2-mw Palsbu on line

Norway’s 6.2-mw Palsbu hydroelectric project is expected to generate 22 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually at Palsbu Dam on Palsbufjorden above Tunhovd Fjord.

Utility Statkraft said plans for the project were on the drawing board for years, but financial and technical conditions only recently made it feasible.

Construction began in February 2006. The utility put the plant on line in October 2007.

The project features a concrete dam, concrete powerhouse, and Kaplan turbine operating at heads from 5 to 15 meters and flows of 53 cubic meters per second.

Palsbu is the first hydro project in Norway to use an environmentally adapted turbine and hydraulic oils, Statkraft said.

Organizers announce plans for Hidroenergia 2008

The European Small Hydropower Association and Slovenian Small Hydropower Association are organizing Hidroenergia 2008 around the theme “On the Crossroads.” The meeting is scheduled for June 11-13 in Bled, Slovenia, a small town in the Julian Alps.

Organizers said the conference theme recognizes pressing issues affecting development of small hydro in the European Union (EU), including: dependence on fossil fuels and imports; carbon dioxide; binding EU legislation; environmental awareness; and protection of nature.

Experts meet at the conference every two years to convey knowledge and best practice experiences to investors and professionals in various sectors involving small hydro. More than 250 professionals involved in small hydro are expected to attend the 2008 conference, organizers said.

Hidroenergia 2008 will include panel discussions on various topics and an exhibition of machinery and electrical equipment for small hydro plants, construction materials, and engineering solutions. A study tour after the conference includes stops at three hydropower plants: a low-head plant refurbished seven years ago; a medium- to high-head plant, eight years old; and a high-head plant, nearly 100 years old that recently was refurbished.

More information about the conference is available on the Internet at and

Briefly …

The presidents of South Africa and Namibia agreed to study joint development of mini-hydropower plants on the Orange River, which forms the countries’ common border. … Ecuador’s power and renewable energy ministry signed a contract with the Universidad de Cuenca to study the feasibility of four hydro projects totaling 29.3 mw. The projects, in Azuay Province, are Mandur, San Francisco 2, Solanda, and Uchucay, Business News Americas reported. … The Inter-American Development Bank approved a US$960,000 grant to strengthen electricity service in non-grid-connected areas of Colombia. The project is to be coordinated with Instituto de Planifica- cion de Soluciones Energeticas, which is charged with developing energy projects in non-interconnected zones.

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