Small Hydro Site Ranking, Cost Methodology and Program

by T. P. Tung, Department of Energy Mines and, Resources, Ottawa, Canada,
D. H. Brown, Department of Energy Mines and, Resources, Ottawa, Canada,
H. J. Keats, Department of Energy Mines and, Resources, Ottawa, Canada,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '91: A New View of Hydro Resources


The user-friendly micro-computer program SHYDRO for costing small hydro has been prepared for the government of Canada and is available in the public domain. SHYDRO was initially applied on a small hydro inventory study in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and subsequently for the Province of Nova Scotia. More recently it has been utilized by ShawMont Newfoundland Ltd. on two extensive small hydro inventory studies. This program estimates the cost of a hydro development on the basis of sixteen site-specific parameters. These parameters have been restricted to those which are readily available from large-scale maps, thereby avoiding the cost of site visits and surveys. The program first calculates the 'least cost' based on a simple formula developed by a statistical analysis of cost data from 141 sites. It then calculates the costs of the following components: Dam, Spillway, Intake, Penstock, Unwatering, Powerhouse Civil, Equipment Supply and Erection, Access Road, Transmission Line and Substation, Fishway, Contractor's Overhead, Engineering and Owner's Cost, and Interest During Construction. ShawMont has developed an enhanced and more versatile 'second generation' version of SHYDRO. It can more fully appraise small hydro sites under 20 MW, including mini and micro hydro 250 kW or less. The program can be easily updated to reflect changes in costs and can easily be applied by non-specialist engineers to do preliminary evaluations of the economic feasibility of small hydro sites, including sites near remote communities. Presently, new work has been undertaken to include data on the turbine-generation unit in the program output. This will assist the program user in estimating the size and cost of the equipment required. This paper outlines simple methodologies which can be used to identify, cost and rank sites. It also outlines SHYDRO program functions and procedures.

Subject Headings: Site investigation | Inventories | Parameters (statistics) | Construction costs | Water intakes | Construction equipment | Hydro power | Computer software | Canada | New Brunswick | Prince Edward Island | Nova Scotia

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