The project is to cost 103 million euros and is to be operated by the company Hidroelektrane Bistrica, an affiliate of ERS. The contractor on the project is AVIC-ENG – China National Aero-technology International Engineering Corp.
Once they operate at full capacity, the three small hydropower stations will be able to generate 152 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity – equivalent to 1 % of production in Bosnia and Herzegovina (16,319 GWh) according to 2020 figures from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The project will expand the portfolio of assets belonging to ERS, made up of five electricity distribution companies as well as three hydropower stations and two coal-fired stations with an overall capacity of 1,300 MW and an annual generating volume of 6,000 GWh (44% derived from water and 56 % from coal).
Bringing three new hydropower stations on stream will boost the share of hydroelectricity generated in Bosnia and Herzegovina – in 2020, coal accounted for 70 % of the total energy supply, while hydroelectricity accounted for 28 % — with the remaining 2 % accounted for by diverse energy source, according to the IEA. The 159 MW Dabar station on the Zalomka River, one of the country’s largest waterways, aims to pursue the same goal once its construction is completed by the end of 2024.
Hydropower is the largest renewable energy source in Bosna and Herzegovina – installed capacity of stations stood at 249 MW as of 2020 – while wind farms and solar power stations accounted for only 87 MW and 35 MW respectively, according to figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Small hydropower stations are growing in popularity in Russia.
Rushydro, Russia’s hydro utility, brought on stream three small hydropower stations in 2020 in the North Caucasus – where natural resources combined with energy shortages create ideal conditions for their development. These stations were: the Barsuchkovskaya plant (capacity 5.25 MW), the Ust-Dzhegutinskaya plant (capacity 5.6 MW) and the Verkhnebalkarskaya plant (10 MW). Two stations – Krasnogorskaya-1 and Krasnogorskaya-2, each with a capacity of 24.9 MW, are to be completed in 2022, the company said.