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Optimization of low-head, dam-toe, small hydropower projects
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) at www.uperc.org
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In most developing countries, such as India, there exists a large amount of hydropower potential. This is especially true in the small hydro plant capacity range of up to 25 MW. Only a small fraction of this potential has been tapped so far, perhaps due to higher per kilowatt installation cost as compared to large hydro. Small hydropower sites can be classified as (i) run-of-river; (ii) canal based, and (iii) dam-toe schemes, depending on their location. Dam-toe schemes need low investment and can be developed in a shorter period of time. In the present study, an attempt has been made to estimate the cost of the low-head, dam-toe, small hydropower schemes. A methodology for cost optimization of such schemes has been developed considering the quantities of various items for each component of the scheme and prevailing prices. Further, to determine financial viability of the scheme at different load factors, sensitivity analysis has also been carried out. It has been found that low-head, dam-toe, small hydropower schemes are financially viable.
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