Serbia: Power utility EPS starts investment cycle in small HPPs with EBRD support

3. June 2015. / News Serbia Energy

After the failed invitations for small hydropower plants, the state will do the work. Power utility EPS will construct two new and renew 15 old HPPs. EBRD provides 600,000 EUR. Works start in September 2015th .

Public invitation to investors two years ago to build small hydropower plants at more than 800 locations in Serbia ended up ingloriously because no dam water is raised. Part of this work will apparently does – the state. “Electric Power Industry of Serbia” will start in September the construction of two new small hydropower plants on existing dams Rovni near Valjevo and Celije near Lajkovac. In addition, there should be renewed 15 old plants now.

All of this was planned four years ago, for which were provided the funds from a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

EPS intends to use the funds from EBRD loan for the revitalization project of 15 small hydropower plants and the construction of two new ones, which will lead to improved efficiency and reduction of carbon emissions – as stated in EPS. – Maximum allowed budget for this work is 600,000 EUR, and it is expected to begin work in September 2015th, while the deadline for completion is 30 months.

Besides the two new buildings on the river in the central Serbia, from European loan EPS will also rebuild small hydropower plants “Kratovska reka”, “Moravica”, “Pod gradom”, “Stara Reka”, “Seljasnica”, “Turica”, “Vrelo”, “Raska” and “Gamzigrad”, “Jelasnica”, “Sicevo”, “Sokolovica”, “Sveta Petka”, “Temac” and “Vucje”.

EPS facilities which have been building now have been agreed yet in the Project for the small hydropower project in 2011th.

– There are big problems with the restoration of these small hydropower plants- explains Dr. Branislav Brankovic, the only electrical engineer in Serbia with a license from renewable energy sources. – The plant in Turica, for example, has ownership dispute, because there was built house precisely next to, so the facility does not work surely for ten years. Also, about “Pod gradom” from Uzice there is a problem because it is not known who can use this energy for water heating. So nothing has been done for years.

Installed capacity of these 15 small hydropower plants is 17.7 megawatts and they produce 55 gigawatts of electricity annually. After the revitalization, their strength will be increased by 5.5 megawatts to 23.3 megawatts, and the production of 22 gigawatt-hours to 77 gigawatt-hours per year.

Hydropower potential of Serbia is big, but too little used. Law on Spatial Plan of Republika Srpska from 2010th to 2020th found that small watercourses have the power of about 0.6 megatons of oil equivalent. The available potential of small hydropower plants is 4.7 percent of total electricity production in Serbia, or about 15 percent of the energy produced by hydro power.

Locations for construction of small hydropower plants were made on the basis of cadaster from 1987th, and in the meantime water has completely changed their courses, so this list of 800 sites obsoletes.

– In the Cadaster were not taken into account the limitations in the management regime, drinking water, and channeling of water sanitary protection – say from “Srbijavode”. – Their total power is prescribed to 450 megawatts by the prescribed production of 1,590 gigawatt-hours per year.

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