CHE Cavnic - Increasing Capacity of Small hydro-power plant (IC-SHPP CAVNIC)

Project facts

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The main objective of the project is upgrading the existing hydropower plant to produce electricity at its full installed capacity of 2,8MW. The current electricity production is low due to water impurities and an initial design error. The construction of the Cavnic Small hydropower plant finished at the end of 2013. Since then, the plant has been running without incidents or failures. Nevertheless, due to the water nature of the Cavnic river and to a design error, the plant has never produced electrical power at its full capacity, though the water debit would have been enough to produce the installed 2,8 MW/h.

The maximal power which can be produced at present is of 1,9 MW, namely 0,9 MW less than the facilities could produce. The production loss occurs even when there are produced 1,9 MW, because even from this lower power, the water cannot be efficiently captured, the plant having water losses higher than the servitude discharge flow which should be delivered downstream the capturing.

The need will be met by a more efficient capture of water at a higher flow rate and production of electricity at the full installed capacity. The works will allow a more efficient capture of water at higher overflow and production of electricity at the full installed capacity of 2,8 MW. The company estimations show that, following the investments of the project, the production would grow with an average of 360 MWh/year. Key activities include:

  • External project management.
  • Acquisition of new equipment.
  • Construction works.

The company has elaborated an ambitious technical project for carrying out intervention and development works over the water capture. Within the project, there will be installed different grates, equipped with automatic cleaners and water drawbacks. The water sand cleaner tank will be extended.

Summary of project results

The project managed to correct the errors that the hydropower plant had (i.e. design errors before the project start which did not allow the hydropower plant to operate at the full installed capacity). The hydropower plant can now operate at the full installed capacity (2,8 MW), compared to only 1,9 MW at the start of the project (i.e. the project enables the use of 0,9MW that were previously not used). Electricity production restarted on 13 December 2023 and the data available so far indicate that the production is at expected levels. For example, the electricity production increased from 591,245 MWh (13-31 December 2021) to 996,661 MWh (13-31 December 2022). 

Information on the projects funded by the EEA and Norway Grants is provided by the Programme and Fund Operators in the Beneficiary States, who are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of this information.