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BOEM Finds No Significant Impact for First Proposed U.S. Ocean Current Energy Test Site

08/15/2013 | Gail Reitenbach

The first ever lease application received to test ocean current energy equipment in the U.S. has been greenlighted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

The Department of the Interior agency that oversees energy activities on the Outer Continental Shelf on Monday announced availability of a revised environmental assessment (EA) and its finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for lease issuance to conduct marine hydrokinetic technology testing offshore Florida.

Florida Atlantic University’s Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (FAU SNMREC) applied to BOEM for a lease to deploy a proposed offshore ocean current turbine testing facility—the first of its kind in the world—in August 2011. The proposed lease area is contained within three Outer Continental Shelf blocks and is located approximately 9 to 15 nautical miles offshore Fort Lauderdale.

The project involves the installation of multiple anchored floating “test berths” to evaluate ocean current turbine designs. Each test berth will consist of a buoy anchored to the sea floor 13 miles off Fort Lauderdale, to measure ocean conditions and allow ocean current turbine prototypes to be deployed from vessels moored in the Gulf Stream. The first technology to be tested will be a research turbine designed and built at FAU that will collect drive-train performance and reliability data. According to the SNMREC, which has received close to $20 million in federal funding, the state of Florida, and private companies to deploy the test site, additional benthic surveys and a final sea trial of the buoy will be performed before installing the first test berth in early 2014. FAU’s research turbine is scheduled to be deployed in the Gulf Stream for the first time in mid-2014 after a series of towed tests.

BOEM published an EA for a 30-day public review period. “The EA considered potential environmental impacts and socioeconomic effects from issuing a lease and associated activities, including surveys, installing mooring and telemetry buoys, and testing of equipment designed to use the Florida current to generate electricity,” BOEM said in a statement.

Ocean current energy devices seek to harvest power from the ocean’s currents. Compared to tidal current energy technologies, which are being developed in several countries—and notably in Scotland—ocean current energy depends on relatively constant oceanic currents that flow in one direction. “While ocean currents move slowly relative to typical wind speeds, they carry a great deal of energy because of the density of water,” BOEM says in a website page dedicated to ocean current energy. “Because of this physical property, ocean currents contain an enormous amount of energy that can be captured and converted to a usable form. It has been estimated that taking just 1/1000th the available energy from the Gulf Stream would supply Florida with 35% of its electrical needs.”

A number of different current technology concepts are under development. Prototype horizontal axis turbines, similar to wind turbines, have been built and tested, and over the next five to seven years would be the most likely commercial development scenario, BOEM projects.

A number of engineering and technical challenges will need to be addressed before that can occur, however. These include overcoming bubble formation, prevention of marine growth buildup, reliability (since maintenance costs are potentially high), and corrosion resistance. “Because the logistics of maintenance are likely to be complex and the costs potentially high, system reliability is of particular importance. At present no open-ocean current turbines are deployed in U.S. waters—this technology is truly in its infancy,” the agency says.

Sources: POWERnews, POWER, BOEM, FAU
China’s Second- and Third-Largest Mega-Dams Mark Operational Milestones

09/01/2013 | By Sonal Patel

China hit two of its most significant hydroelectric milestones in recent months: Initial operation of the 13.86-GW Xiluodu project—the country’s second-largest hydropower project after the 22.5-GW Three Gorges Dam—and commercial operation of four 800-MW units at the 6.4-GW Xiangjiaba underground hydropower plant, which when completed will be China’s third-largest hydropower plant.

In mid-July, China Three Gorges Corp. (CTG) announced that the first of 18 770-MW Francis turbine generators at the enormous Xiluodu project on the lower reaches of the Jinsha River in Yunnan Province and Sichuan Province, southwest China, officially started operations after completing a three-day test run. Unit “13F” is providing power to the China Southern Power Grid.

Construction of the massive $6.2 billion project—including its 912-foot-tall double-curvature arch dam and a reservoir with a capacity of 12.67 billion cubic meters—began in 2005. The dam will generate power from two underground power stations, each equipped with nine turbines, located on the right and left banks of the river. All 18 generating units are scheduled to be completed by 2014, when the project will rank as the third-largest power plant in the world, after the Three Gorges and Brazilian Itaipu complexes.

3. Bulk and brawn. Four of eight planned units began commercial operation at the Xiangjiaba underground hydro power plant on the Jinsha River, in southwestern China this July. This image shows the installation of the upper bracket of the Alstom-manufactured 800-MW class unit, which comprises a Francis turbine coupled to an 889 MVA generator. Alstom says the units are the “world’s most powerful” hydroelectric generating units. Courtesy: Alstom

And in the last week of July, four Alstom-manufactured 800-MW class Francis turbines, each coupled with an 889 MVA generator (Figure 3), began commercial operation at China’s Xiangjiaba underground hydro power plant, which is also located on the Jinsha River, a Yangtze River tributary, in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. According to Alstom, the 800-class units made for plant owner CTG are “the most powerful hydroelectric generating units in the world.” To start with, the generators are “the only air-cooled generators in the world with 23kV windings,” the French firm says. “This high voltage allows an optimized electrical design for such a high power output.” At almost 10 meters in diameter, the turbine runners weigh more than 400 metric tons.

When all eight units are operational, the 6.4-GW facility will become an integral power source in the country’s West to East Electricity Transfer Project, which is designed to power energy-shortage-stricken urban and industrial centers on the east coast. The South-North Water Transfer Project, which seeks to transfer 35 billion cubic meters of water every year from China’s wet south to its arid north, and the West to East Project are China’s two biggest infrastructure developments under way. Initiated during the 10th Five-Year Plan (2000 to 2005), the West to East Electricity Transfer Project’s first phase continues to expand the western province’s generating capacity—mostly through construction of new coal units and hydropower plants—as well as through the construction of three transmission corridors that connect newly built capacity in the north, central, and south to the eastern coast (Figure 4).

4. To have and have not. China’s West to East Electricity Transfer Project seeks to expand generating capacity in western provinces and then transfer it through three transmission corridors to seven energy-shortage-stricken provinces—Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Guangdong—on the eastern coast, which consume nearly 40% of the nation’s electricity. Each corridor is expected to exceed 40 GW by 2020. The blue provinces represent net electricity exporters; the darker blue provinces export 30% or more of their power. The orange provinces represent importers, with lighter orange indicating imports of less than 10% of their power. Courtesy: Wilson Center
The Three Gorges Dam, the world’s biggest power project, which is located on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and is slated to be fully completed by 2015, will also play a central role in the West-East project.

The Xiangjiaba dam will be connected to Chinese industrial and commercial hub Shanghai about 2,000 kilometers away by the ABB-designed 800-kV Xiangjiaba-Shanghai line, which became the world’s first ultra-high-voltage direct current transmission line when it was completed in July 2010.

—Sonal Patel is POWER’s senior writer.
RusHydro Completes First Stage of New Far East Hydro Project.

The RusHydro Group on Oct. 3 announced it had officially completed the first stage of the 570-MW Ust’-Srednekanskaya hydropower plant on the Kolyma river in the Magadan region in the Far East of Russia. Ust’-Srednekanskaya plant is the second in the cascade of hydropower plants on the Kolyma River. With the first phase of two units (142.5 MW each) operating with temporary Francis runners completed, construction that began in 1991 continues and is slated to wrap up in 2018. The next stage consists of increasing the water head from current to project level of 260 to 276.5 meters and commissioning of the third hydro unit. The plant is expected to provide energy for the developing mining operations in the region and to diversify power resources to the isolated region. About 95% of the region’s power demand was previously covered only by RusHydro’s Kolymskaya hydropower plant.

Brazil Supreme Court Reverses Suspension of 1.8-GW Hydro Plant. Brazil’s Supreme Court in October reversed a September 2013 decision by a federal court that suspended construction on the 1,800-MW Tele Pires hydropower project by Companhia Hidreletrica Teles Pires (CHTP). One of five large dams planned for the Teles Pires River, a major tributary of the Tapajós River in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, the $2 billion Tele Pires hydropower project is now on track to come online by 2015. The federal court’s decision, issued in response to civil lawsuits filed by Brazil’s Federal Public Prosecutors’ Office, cited “unforgivable failures” in the environmental licensing of the dam. Judge Ricardo Lewandowski of the Supremo Tribunal Federal ruled in October, however, that CHTP had not breached the concession rules and that delaying the project could cause significant economic damage to Brazil’s Mato Grosso and Para states. CHTP is a consortium of Neoenergia (50.1%), Eletrobras-Eletrosul (24.5%), Eletrobras Furnas (24.5%) and Odebrecht (0.9%).

Source: Sonal Patel, Power Magazine
Headway for Congo’s Long-Delayed 40-GW Inga Hydro Project

Plans to build the $12 billion Inga 3 hydropower project may be finally coming to fruition after a new energy treaty signed by South Africa and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) promised to give the long-stalled project a credible power purchaser.

The DRC has been seeking a development group for the 4.8-GW project proposed on the Congo River—the third largest river in the world by volume of water discharged—and bidders have apparently been forthcoming. So far bid groups for the projects include China Three Gorges Corp. and Sinohydro Corp; a consortium of South Korean companies POSCO and Daewoo Corp. and Canada’s SNC-Lavalin Group; and Spain’s Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA and Eurofinsa Group. But the DRC is still open to other investors and has said it could make its decision in June or July next year.

That means construction of Inga 3, which would be the first of eight massive units comprising the ambitious 40-GW Grand Inga project, may begin in October 2015 and be completed by 2020. That $80 billion project would require 66 square miles around the Congo River to be flooded to create what could become the largest source of hydropower in the world.

Two existing dams—Inga 1 and Inga 2 (Figure 2)—have already been operating on the Congo River for more than three decades, but they are dilapidated and underperform at around 50% of capacity. Internationally backed efforts to refurbish those plants are underway, but even these more modest projects have been plagued by years of delay. By June 2013, three out of six turbines in Inga I had been rehabilitated and one had been replaced. The other two turbines were scheduled for completion by the end of 2013. Five of Inga 2’s eight turbines were working, and the other three are scheduled to be refurbished by the end of 2015.

While feasibility studies for the Inga 3 project have been carried out (financed by the African Development Bank), no power purchasers emerged until the DRC’s October treaty with South Africa, which guarantees 2,500 MW from the project for South Africa’s power-strapped state-owned utility Eskom. Under the treaty, the DRC will build nearly 1,841 kilometers (km) of transmission lines to its border with Zambia, and South Africa will install 1,540 km of lines from Zambia through Zimbabwe. The DRC has meanwhile said it will provide 1,300 MW from Inga 3 to the country’s lucrative but energy-short copper mining industries in Katanga province. The remainder is expected to power the DRC. Of the country’s population of 70 million, only 9% have electricity.

Observers still express reservations about the project’s completion, however, owing to the DRC’s political volatility. The country is emerging from a long period of conflict and mismanagement, though in 2011—for the first time in more than four decades—it was able to organize back-to-back multiparty presidential and parliamentary elections.

Then there are cost concerns: Estimates to refurbish the Inga 1 and Inga 2 projects alone were recently expanded from $226.7 million to $460.2 million. Meanwhile, the World Bank is reviewing an aid request from the DRC’s Ministry of Energy for $73 million of the Inga 3’s $12 billion total project cost. It optimistically says in affiliated documents that the hydropower potential of the 40-GW Inga project would make it the largest and “most cost-effective” hydroelectric site in the world. And though it notes that “heavy engagement” in the electricity sector through two regional energy projects yielded “limited results,” significant progress has been made in recent months on the institutional front, including strengthening governance within the DRC’s National Electricity Co.

Sonal Patel, associate editor (@POWERmagazine, @sonalcpatel)
Fitch: California Drought to Take a Toll on Hydropower Generators

A years-long drought afflicting California could put financial pressure on a number of the state’s hydropower generators, a ratings agency warns.

Fitch Ratings on Friday said that while the financial impact could be manageable, utilities that depend on hydropower generation for the most part may be forced to use more expensive generation and purchased power to replace the potential shortfall in hydropower output for the third year in a row.

The Energy Information Administration estimates California’s hydropower generation dropped 22.3% compared to 2012. The state has almost 14% of the nation’s total hydro capacity, but hydro has accounted for varying portions of power generation in the state. In 1992, for example, hydro dropped to an 11% share while in 1995, it soared to 28%. In 2011, hydro’s share was at an above-average 21.3%, but it dropped to just 13.8% in 2012. In comparison, natural gas generation rose from 45.4% in 2011 to 61.1% in 2012.

Fitch noted that the state’s generators have “experienced prolonged periods of dry water conditions before the current cycle and have undertaken measures to reduce their vulnerability.” These measures include improved rate design, the broader use of automatic recovery mechanisms, the collection and use of rate stabilization funds, and more conservative budgeting.

Most of the power used in California today continues to come from in-state generators fueled by natural gas and imports. Renewables have been increasing on the back of a 33% by 2020 mandate, federal tax credits, grants, and the implementation of a state greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade program.

California has sought to offset the loss of generation from the 2,250-MW San Onofre Generating Station, which was permanently retired last year, by adding several new generating units with a total capacity of at least 205 MW]. Mexico’s Comisión Federal de Electricidad is also planning to add three gas turbines that could contribute 134 MW of capacity for the winter period. In October, the 250-MW (48 MW winter capacity) Solana Gila Bend Solar project in Arizona also began operating.

The drought is thought to have been caused by an atmospheric phenomenon whereby a broad high-pressure zone nearly 4 miles high and 2,000 miles long off the West Coast—and which has lasted for 13 months since December 2012—has blocked Pacific winter storms from approaching California. Last year was the driest year recorded in the some of the state’s cities.

The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) says in its November-released 2013-2014 Winter Reliability Assessment that overall, the nation has adequate resources to meet peak demand in the operating period between December 2013 and February 2014.

Only the New England region could see constraints this winter, NERC forecast, even though more than half of new pipeline projects that entered commercial service in 2012 and 2013 were in the Northeast. Most of that capacity was added outside of New England’s constrained areas where there has been an increasing reliance on gas-fired generation. “For New England, this includes the potential for natural gas interruption to gas-fired generators and a reliance on back-up fuel (generally oil) to meet peak demand,” it says.

Potential operational challenges could be posed by weather uncertainty, but NERC cited the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Winter Outlook that forecast “mild” winter climate in the U.S. for the 2013–2014 season.

—Sonal Patel, associate editor (@POWERmagazine, @sonalcpatel)
Hydro power can help north-east generate INR 679 crore annually

Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia Deputy Chairman Planning Commission said that the north eastern region can generate revenue of INR 650 to INR 670 crore every year by taping hydro power potential.

Mr Ahluwalia said that "This is a region very rich in hydro potential it will generate huge surplus that needs to be conveyed to the rest of the country. The region will earn a lot of income from this potential. What I am told roughly is that every 1,000 MW of generation capacity will generate revenue on the scale of something between INR 650 to INR 670 crore per year. If you have 50,000 MW then the revenue generation is 50 times of this."

The conference on Infrastructure Developments in the North East Leveraging Opportunities was jointly organised by Planning Commission, Assam government and CII.

Mr Ahluwalia also made a case for improving road connectivity saying it was crucial for power production. He said that "If we have to move big power equipment, it cannot happen without road connectivity."

Mr Neerja Mathur, Chairperson of the Central Electricity Authority said that of 88,000 MW power to be added in the 12th Plan, the contribution from the north eastern region would be close to 3,000 MW.

Mr Ahluwalia also said that government is closely monitoring the progress by Air India to use Guwahati as a hub for air connectivity, It is expected to be completed by September this year.

Speaking about the new projects in aviation, Mr Ashok Lavasa, Secretary of Ministry of Civil Aviation said that the Airports Authority of India has sanctioned 5 projects for the region and there are 8 more projects for which approval is sought.

Mr Lavasa said that "In the 12th Plan period it is planned to improve the air connectivity in the region. It is expected that in the next 10 years about INR 5,000 crore will be spent in infrastructure development at airports. There is construction of greenfield airports, development and operationalisation of non operational airports and upgrading and modernisation of existing airports."

He also urged the state governments to expedite land acquisition process for airports development.

The Minister of State for Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region Paban Singh Ghatowar said for the air connectivity in the region it has shortlisted some private players to make Guwahati a hub.

Source – Financial Express
Alstom to supply equipment for Shuakhevi hydropower plant in Georgia

Alstom India Limited announced that Alstom led consortium has been awarded a contract worth around INR 2620 million to equip the 2x89.3 MW Shuakhevi Hydropower plant located in Georgia.

Alstom's share of the contract is worth around INR 1934 million. The Shuakhevi hydro power project is part of one of the largest foreign direct investment projects in Georgia to date. The power plant is expected to have an installed capacity of 178.6 MW and is expected to be commissioned in 2016.

Source - Strategic Research Institute

Brazil's 807MW Três Irmãos hydro set for March auction

By Michael Place - Friday, February 28, 2014

A 30-year concession for Brazil's 807MW Três Irmãos hydroelectric plant will be auctioned next month.

The contract will be awarded to the bidder that accepts the lowest operating and maintenance revenue, capped at 31.6mn reais (US$12.6mn) a year, according to a statement by power regulator Aneel.

Bidders for the March 28 round must pay an up-front guarantee of 316,000 reais.

The winner will not accrue revenue from energy sales, with power generated to be allocated to distributors.

São Paulo's state-run utility Cesp ceded control of Três Irmãos in November 2012 after rejecting new concession rules enforced by the federal government.

Aneel has pre-qualified 19 companies for the auction, including AES Tietê, Cemig (NYSE: CIG), Eletronorte, Chesf, Copel, Duke, Furnas and Tractebel.
BHEL secures contract worth INR 3.21 billion for hydro electric project

Bharat Heavy Electricals, an integrated power plant equipment manufacturer, has secured a contract worth INR 3.21 billion for setting up a 206 MW Hydro Electric Project in the state of Punjab.

Significantly, this is the first major order for electro mechanical equipment, to be finalized by a Government utility company in the current financial year, in the hydro sector.

The above order is for setting up of hydro generating sets and associated electro-mechanical works for the 206 MW Shahpurkandi HEP has been placed on BHEL by Punjab State Power Corporation, as its offer was found techno economically the best.

Notably, the bids for the contract were invited by PSPCL through a Global E tendering process. With this order, the customer has once again reposed confidence in BHEL's proven technological excellence and capability in executing such hydro projects.

Located in Gurdaspur district of Punjab, in the plains near the Punjab and J&K border, the project shall be constructed on the canal from Shahpurkandi Barrage to Madhopur headworks, downstream of the existing Ranjit Sagar Dam. The water released by Ranjit Sagar Dam shall be utilised for generating power from this project. The project comprises seven hydro generating sets located in 2 Power Houses viz. Power House-I and Power House-II. BHEL's scope of work in the contract envisages design, manufacture, supply, installation and commissioning of hydro generating sets and associated electro mechanical works.

While the hydro generating sets shall be supplied by BHEL's Bhopal unit, the transformers and Control & Monitoring system will be supplied by the company's Jhansi unit and Electronics Division, Bangalore, respectively. The erection & commissioning of the equipment shall be carried out by BHEL's Power Sector Northern Region.

For PSPCL, BHEL is also presently executing the electro-mechanical works for the 2x9 MW Mukerian HEP, wherein bulb turbine generating sets are being supplied. Significantly, BHEL has a share of 90% in the present hydro generating capacity of 1,145 MW of PSPCL.

Source – Strategic Research Institute,
UAE led group to buy 2 India power plants in deal worth USD 1.6 billion

Reuters reported that a consortium led by Abu Dhabi National Energy Company has agreed to buy two Indian hydroelectric power plants from Jaiprakash Power Ventures in a deal worth about USD 1.6 billion.

A TAQA spokesman said that “The group will spend USD 616 million on equity in the plants and in addition take over their non recourse project debt, bringing the total enterprise value to around USD 1.6 billion.”

State run TAQA , with 51% of the consortium, will control the operations and management of both plants under the deal. PSP Investments, one of Canada's largest institutional investors, will own 39% and an infrastructure fund run by India's IDFC Alternatives will hold 10%.

The 2 plants, located close to each other in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, have a combined generating capacity of 1,391 MW and are near another Indian hydroelectric plant in which TAQA acquired a stake last year.

TAQA said that “Along with a lignite power plant owned by TAQA, the latest deal will bring TAQA's combined generating capacity in India to 1,741 MW. The deal, which needs regulatory and third-party approvals, is expected to close in 2014.”

Source - Reuters
SJVN Ltd commissions 412 MW Rampur Hydro Electric Project

The 412 MW Rampur Hydro Electric Project of SJVN Limited, located on river Satluj in Himachal Pradesh, commenced power generation on March 20th 2014 with the synchronization of its first 68.67 MW unit with the northern grid. The mechanical wet spinning of Unit I and Unit II of the Project had been successfully achieved on March 4th & 5th 2014 respectively.

It is expected that all the 6 vertical axis Francis turbine units each of 68.67 MW will be progressively commissioned within the next 3 months.

On completion the project will generate 1770 million units of electricity per annum, 30% of which will be supplied to home state Himachal Pradesh, which is the Company's equity partner, in addition to 12% free power. The balance power, will be supplied to the northern grid states namely Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh & Delhi.

Source – Strategic Research Institute
BHEL wins order for 120 MW Hydro Electric Project in Uttarakhand

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited has secured a prestigious contract for setting up a 120 MW Hydro Electric Project in the state of Uttarakhand. Significantly, this is the first major order for electro-mechanical equipment in the hydro sector, to be finalised by a Government utility company in Uttarakhand, after the devastating flash floods.

Valued at INR 1,250 Million, the order for setting up of Hydro Generating sets and associated Electro Mechanical works for the 120 MW Vyasi HEP has been placed on BHEL by Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited, as its offer was found techno economically the best.

The order comes close on the heels of the hydro order bagged by BHEL for the 206 MW Shahpur Kandi HEP from Punjab State Power Corporation Limited in January 2014.

Located in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand, the Vyasi HEP is a run of the river scheme on the river Yamuna. Water from the Vyasi reservoir will be diverted by constructing an 86 meter high dam through a 2.7 Kilometer long head race tunnel to the surface power house at Hathiari village. The project comprises two hydro generating sets of 60 MW each with vertical Francis turbines.

BHEL's scope of work in the contract envisages design, manufacture, supply, installation and commissioning of hydro generating sets and associated electro mechanical works. While the hydro generating sets shall be supplied by BHEL's Bhopal unit, the transformers and Control & Monitoring system will be supplied by the company's Jhansi unit and Electronics Division, Bangalore, respectively. The erection & commissioning of the equipment shall be carried out by BHEL's Power Sector - Northern Region.

BHEL has a long standing association with UJVNL and its largest hydro power plant of 304 MW capacity at Maneri Bhali Stage II has also been supplied by BHEL. UJVNL is one of the largest govt. hydro utility companies in Uttarkhand with a generation capacity of 1,306 MW, of which 1,126 MW has been supplied by BHEL. With this order, the customer has once again reposed confidence in BHEL's proven technological excellence and capability in executing such hydro projects.

Notably, so far, more than 500 hydro generating sets of various ratings have been contracted on BHEL in India and abroad, with a cumulative capacity of more than 26,000 MW, out of which, equipment for about 5,000 MW generating capacity has been contracted outside India.

BHEL has been committed to the nation's power development programme and has reaffirmed its commitment to the Indian Power Sector by equipping itself by way of contemporary technology, state of the art manufacturing facilities and skilled technical manpower. Responding to the growth in the nation's demand for power equipment, BHEL has enhanced its manufacturing capacity to 20,000 MW per annum.

Source - Strategic Research Institute
Hydropower plants partly blamed for deadly India floods

Hydropower projects in northern India were partly to blame for devastating floods last year that killed thousands, a government report has concluded, in a warning to other Himalayan nations investing in the alternative energy source.

Floods and landslides caused by early monsoon rains tore through the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand last June, leaving more than 5,500 people dead or missing and destroying villages and towns.

The world's second most populous country has turned to hydropower projects in the Himalayas for electricity as it seeks to curb its reliance on coal-fed plants as well as reducing its crippling power shortages.

Pakistan, China, Bhutan and Nepal are also eyeing expansion of hydropower in the Himalayan range to varying degrees, often in ecologically fragile areas.

Source -
BHEL commissions four 130 MW hydro plants of NHPC

Bharat Heavy Electricals an integrated power plant equipment manufacturer, announced that with the commissioning of the fourth and final 130 MW hydro generating unit at Parbati III Hydro Electric Project in Himachal Pradesh, the company has successfully commissioned all the four units of the 520 MW underground hydro power plant of NHPC. The first three units at Parbati III HEP were commissioned by BHEL.

Parbati III HEP powerhouse is located near village Bihali on the left bank of river Sainj in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh.

BHEL's scope of work in the project included supply and installation of 4 numbers 130 MW Francis turbines static excitation system main inlet valves digital governors state of the art control & monitoring system associated station auxiliaries Gas Insulated Switchgear and electrical & mechanical Balance of Plant.

BHEL has a long standing association with NHPC beginning with setting up of NHPC's first hydro generating plant at Baira Siul by BHEL in 1981. With the addition of another 130 MW, BHEL's contribution to NHPC's total generating capacity now stands at 2,884 MW. BHEL is presently executing three more hydro projects of NHPC viz. 3x110 MW Kishanganga HEP in J&K, 4x40 MW Teesta Low Dam IV HEP in West Bengal and 4x200 MW Parbati II in Himachal Pradesh which are in different stages of execution.

BHEL is presently executing Hydro power projects of around 5,000 MW which are under various stages of implementation. In Himachal Pradesh, another hydro project at Rampur being set up by BHEL is in an advanced stage of commissioning.

Significantly, so far, more than 500 hydro generating sets of various ratings have been contracted on BHEL in India and abroad, with a cumulative capacity of more than 26,000 MW, out of which, equipment for about 5,000 MW generating capacity has been contracted outside India. Notably, Nine hydro sets totalling 641 MW were commissioned by BHEL in the year 2013 to 2014 including 3 Units of Parbati and 3 Units of Nimoo Bazgo of NHPC.

BHEL has been committed to the nation's power development programme and has reaffirmed its commitment to the Indian Power Sector by equipping itself by way of contemporary technology, state of the art manufacturing facilities and skilled technical manpower. Responding to the growth in the nation's demand for power equipment, BHEL has enhanced its manufacturing capacity to 20,000 MW per annum.

Source - Strategic Research Institute
Robust Bearings Tested for Brazil’s Belo Monte Hydro Project

Brazil’s Belo Monte hydropower project includes a complex of dams, numerous dikes, and a series of canals supplying two different power stations with water. With a rated capacity of 11,233 MW, it will be the country’s second-largest and the world’s third-largest hydropower generating station behind China’s Three Gorges and Brazil’s Itaipu installations.

Project owners wanted a reliable, water- and debris-resistant material that would allow extended service for the facility’s wicket gates. The components needed to withstand the harsh 24-hour operating conditions at the dam and provide a minimum service life of 20 years.

As part of the search process, Norte Energia—the company formed to build and operate the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant—tested GGB Bearing Technology’s HPM self-lubricating, filament-wound bearings (Figure 1) to determine their suitability for the wicket gate application. The materials used in the bearings were specifically developed for hydropower applications and offer resistance to impact and corrosion, high static and dynamic load capacity, and 75% less weight than equivalently sized metallic bearings.

Powertech Labs conducted the testing in accordance with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers specifications. The testing simulated actual operating conditions at Belo Monte, including the use of water from the Xingu River, where the project is being constructed. The bearings were subjected to tests that were modified to simulate 30 years of operation rather than the standard 13 years.

The bearings—consisting of a fiberglass-reinforced, epoxy resin support layer and a sliding layer of polyester fibers with polytetrafluoroethylene and other additives—were first subjected to a static load with rotary and oscillating motion under both dry and wet conditions. They then underwent accelerated wear testing with a dynamic radial load on a journal moving continuously plus or minus one degree. The static load remained constant, but the dynamic load was paused every 15 minutes to simulate a turbine wicket gate opening plus or minus 15 degrees.

The bearings performed well with little evidence of operating stress. Significantly, it was demonstrated that their coefficient of friction and wear rate decreased as running time increased, which allowed the project engineers to design the turbines with smaller servomotors. Engineers now use the essential data provided from the testing when specifying self-lubricating bearings in hydropower turbines to achieve longer service life and maintenance-free operation.

GGB HPM bearings are used in more than 25 hydropower projects worldwide, including on the largest water turbine in the world at the Chinese Xiangjiaba hydropower plant. That Three Gorges Corp. project contains four Francis turbines, each with a rated capacity of 850 MW, which were fitted with bearings with an inner diameter of 520 mm and a length of 370 mm. ¦

—Edited by Aaron Larson, a POWER associate editor (@AaronL_Power, @POWERmagazine).
Arcadis betrokken bij onderzoek energieproject in China

AMSTERDAM (Dow Jones)--Arcadis nv (ARCAD.AE) maakt deel uit van een consortium van acht Nederlandse bedrijven dat betrokken is bij onderzoek naar een energieproject, waaronder de aanleg van een dam, waarmee energie voor meer dan tien miljoen Chinese huishoudens moet worden opgewekt.

Het betreft de mogelijke constructie van een dam aan de Chinese kust tussen Xiamen en Shantou die 60 tot 100 kilometer lang wordt. Via een netwerk van 4.000 turbines zou de dam tot 15 gigawatt aan energie moeten kunnen opwekken, wat gelijk staat aan de capaciteit van zes grote kolen- of gascentrales.

In de afgelopen drie jaren is reeds een aantal haalbaarheidsonderzoeken uitgevoerd en de Chinese regering heeft nu opdracht gegeven voor een evaluatie naar kosten voor ontwerp en bouw van de faciliteit die worden ingeschat op $40 miljard. De evaluatie zal naar verwachting voor het einde van het jaar worden afgerond.

Het Nederlandse consortium bestaat behalve Arcadis uit Strukton Engineering bv, Pentair/Nijhuis Pompen bv, Antea Group/Oranjewoud bv, WUR-IMARES, DNKV KEMA, TU Delft en G2iD.

Door Levien de Feijter; Dow Jones Nieuwsdienst: +31-20-5715200;

Chinese fourth biggest hydropower plant starts operation- Report

Reuters reported that China's 4th biggest hydropower project, the 5.85 GW Nuozhadu plant, went into full operation at the end of last week, as the coal dependent nation steps up efforts to develop the vast energy potential of its rivers.

The project developer, the Huaneng Group, said in a notice that the facility, located on the upstream section of the Mekong river, consists of 9 generating units with a capacity of 650 MW each, its 261.5-metre dam is currently the highest in China.

The Three Gorges project is China's biggest hydropower plant with a total capacity of 22.5 GW and a 181 metre dam.

Huaneng said in an earlier notice posted on its website that total investment was initially set at CNY 45 billion. The firm did not give a revised figure.

Despite the huge financial, social and environmental costs arising from large scale dams and reservoirs, China has vowed to step up construction as it bids to reduce the share of coal in its total energy mix and tackle a major source of pollution.

China originally planned to raise total hydropower capacity by 70 GW over the 2011 -2015 period and bring total capacity up to 420 GW by 2020 but has fallen behind schedule as a result of a slowdown in project approvals.

Total hydropower capacity stood at 249.6 GW by the end of May, up 13.7% on the year and amounting to 20.1% of the total. Thermal power, consisting mostly of coal fired capacity, amounted to 872.1 GW or 70.3%.

The Nuozhadu plant is a part of China's west east electricity transmission programme, designed to deliver energy from remote western regions to key electricity markets on the eastern coast through long distance power grids.

Source - Reuters
Chile Axes 2.8-GW Hydro Project Permits

As the latest development in a contentious eight-year-long legal battle, Chile’s highest administrative authority in early June revoked environmental permits for five massive dams proposed in the country’s Patagonia region.

The decision by the Committee of Ministers means the 2.8-GW HidroAysén plan, an $8 billion proposal to build five dams on the Baker and Pascua Rivers (Figure 2) in Aysén, has effectively been stalled. However, project developers will likely appeal the decision in an environmental court, prolonging the legal battle.

2. A megadam proposal. Chile’s government in June stalled the 2.8-GW HidroAysén project, an $8 billion proposal to build five dams on the Baker and Pascua Rivers in the remote Aysén region in Patagonia. The Baker River (shown here) is Chile’s largest in terms of volume of water. Courtesy: Nadine Lehner/NRDC

HidroAysén is owned 51% by Enel’s Spanish subsidiary Endesa and 49% by Chilean firm Colbun SA. The project’s developers had called for more than 1,600 km of new power lines from the remote region in southern Patagonia to supply energy to central Chile. But though experts have warned that power-strapped Chile must triple its current 18-GW generation capacity within 15 years to continue growing its economy and to feed its energy-intensive mining sector, most Chileans have opposed the controversial hydroelectric scheme, sometimes with violent protests.

Opposition to the project also has the international backing of the U.S.-based Natural Resources Defense Council and International Rivers, environmental groups that claim the environmental permits originally granted in 2011 are wrought with “procedural irregularities and charges of misconduct.”

The government committee in June reached a unanimous decision to repeal environmental permission for the project, after reviewing 35 legal cases against it. It cited insufficient planning for the relocation of affected communities and the impact on local ecosystems for its decision.

“[We are] willing to develop the hydroelectric project in Aysén, for which [HidroAysén] has paid and will continue to pay for water rights, mining protection rights, sectorial administrative requests and the protection of interests before financial and judicial institutions,” wrote Daniel Fernández, executive vice-president of HidroAysén, in a letter to the committee, which comprised the ministers of agriculture, energy, mining, and economy.

Earlier in May, Chile released a $650 million investment plan to reduce energy costs and promote non-hydro renewable energy development for the country that imports about 60% of its primary energy resources. The plan calls for a 30% cut in marginal power costs on Chile’s central grid, which serves 90% of the country’s citizens, by 2018. It also requires that 45% of power capacity installed between 2014 and 2025 be from solar, wind, and geothermal sources to put Chile closer to its target of producing 20% of its energy from renewables. The government also called for energy savings of up to 20,000 GWh per year.

Chile’s power mix is dominated by hydropower, but droughts have left a country with no indigenous oil or natural gas reserves energy-strapped (see “Chile’s Power Challenge: Reliable Energy Supplies“ in the September 2012 issue). Beyond calling on the state oil company to boost exploration, the country also hopes to build a liquefied natural gas import terminal in the mineral-rich north.

—Sonal Patel, associate editor (@POWERmagazine, @sonalcpatel)
Indian Power Ministry mulls fund to finance in hydropower developers

Economic Times reported that the power ministry plans to create a fund to provide long term finances to hydropower developers and aims to play an active role in resolving state level sues that are blocking such projects.

Mr Piyush Goyal, power, coal and renewable energy minister of India, said that "Hydropower did not get the desired attention as concerned ministries and departments were working in silos and problems with states and central authorities could be resolved.”

Mr Goyal said that “However, the new government is working in tandem as a team and we are hopeful to resolve pending issues to give conducive environment to hydropower sector."

He said that one of his first projects PM Mr Narendra Modi inaugurated was the 240 MW Uri-ll project, demonstrating his government's commitment towards hydropower.

Mr Modi is expected to inaugurate one more hydroelectric project at Ladakh next week.

At a conference on hydropower organized by FICCI, Mr Goyal said that India can surpass its target of generating 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 by promoting hydropower. He said that in line with budget's promise to offer longer term finance to infrastructure projects, ministry of power plans to set up a fund or set up a body to finance to hydropower projects.

He promised support for private investment in hydropower but he said developers that his ministry will not push Power Finance Corporation or Rural Electricity Corporation to finance specific projects.

He added that "It is the job of investors to determine the economic viability of the project and convince the lenders.”

He further added that he hoped differences between Arunachal Pradesh and Assam would be resolved to put 2,000 MW Lower Subansiri Hydro Power Project on track.

India has a potential to build 148,000 MW of hydropower generation capacity. However, India could add only 5,400 MW of capacity during 11th 5 Year Plan against its target to commission 16,500 MW of projects, partly due to procedural hurdles and partly because of faulty planning. India has around 36,000 MW of installed hydropower capacity. About 13,000 mw of additional capacity is under construction.

Source – Economic Times
BHEL to set up a 444 MW Hydro Electric Project in Uttarakhand

In the face of stiff international competition, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited has secured a prestigious contract for setting up a 444 MW Hydro Electric Project in the state of Uttarakhand. Valued at INR 4,220 Million, the order for setting up of Hydro Generating sets and associated Electro-Mechanical works for the 444 MW Vishnugad Pipalkoti HEP has been placed on BHEL by THDCIL.

Significantly, this is the 2nd major order, bagged by BHEL, for a hydro electric project in Uttarakhand in 2014. Earlier, an order for the 2x60 MW Vyasi HEP was received from Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited in March, 2014. Located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, Vishnugad Pipalkoti HEP is a run of the river scheme on the river Alaknanda. The project comprises four hydro generating sets of 111 MW capacity each, with vertical Francis turbines and matching hydro generators.

BHEL’s scope of work in the contract envisages Engineering, Procurement and Construction of all hydro generating sets and associated electro mechanical works and is to be executed in a tight schedule of 48 months. While the hydro generating sets shall be supplied by BHEL’s Bhopal unit, the transformers and Control & Monitoring system will be supplied by the company’s Jhansi unit and Electronics Division, Bangalore, respectively.

The erection & commissioning of the equipment shall be carried out by BHEL’s Power Sector - Northern Region. BHEL has a long standing association with THDCIL.

In the past, BHEL has carried out erection and commissioning of four units at the 1,000 MW Tehri Dam HEP of THDCIL, along with supply of generator transformers and busducts. The 4 units were commissioned by BHEL in 2006 to 2007. BHEL has also supplied and installed Electro-Mechanical equipment for the 400 MW Koteshwar HEP of THDCIL, which was commissioned in 2011 to 2012.

BHEL's efforts in the commissioning of 2 units of Koteshwar HEP in less than 6 months after the power plant was flooded were highly appreciated by the customer. With this order, the customer has once again reposed confidence in BHEL's proven technological excellence and capability in executing hydro electric projects.

Over the years, BHEL has contributed significantly to the hydro generating capacity of the country, with 18,760 MW of its sets already in operation. Further, BHEL is executing hydro power projects of around 9,500 MW, including projects of 3,000 MW outside India, which are under various stages of implementation

Source – Strategic Research Institute
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