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STRUCTURAL MEASURES FOR ICHTHYOFAUNAL ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS IMPROVEMENT AT A SMALL HYDROPOWER PLANT

A. I. POPESCU-BUSAN, S. STANCA, S. V. NICOARA , A. T. CONSTANTIN
Thursday 11 October 2018 by Libadmin2018

ABSTRACT

The low head hydropower development “Capra VI and VII” consists of two small hydropower (SHP) stations accomplished in sequence on the homonym stream in Argeș County, center Romania, each of them less than 1MW. The SHPs, study case for this paper, follow the European directives regarding the water, the environment and the green energy. Their accomplishment was based on the existing delimitation of the minor river bed for which it was noticed that the ichthyofaunal environmental conditions are not entirely achieved in time and space. It is known that the flow decrease is significantly produced during the period of medium levels (about 70-50% over one year) while the water volume yearly transited by the affected river sector is about 50% of the medium multiannual reserve. An immediate measure for improving the situation could be the increase of downstream flow from Q95% to values corresponding to larger time steps, but this would affect the SHPs efficiency. Consequently, a structural measure needs to be considered in order to increase the water depth and to diminish the water speed and so to fulfill the propitious life conditions especially for the endangered species (Bullhead - Cottus gobio) – steps endowed with fish ladders or boulder steps of no more than 20cm head. The solution would ask for an increased initial investment cost but would require low yearly maintenance expenses. The energy loss is avoided while the optimum fish mobility conditions are reached, an important advantage regarding the trophic pyramid. The solution bears the inconvenience of the lack in specific implementing legislation in Romania because there was not yet performed the clear delimitation between environmental constructions and those of other specific type, e.g. energy use. We hope that in the near future, based on scientific papers and debate, a proper awareness of the decision makers would be achieved for this aspect concerning the SHPs.

Keywords: small hydropower development, ichthyofaunal environment conditions, minor river bed


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