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Tinfos run-of-river plants provide clean energy to rural communities

Published 22 Mar 2023 (updated 29 Apr 2024) · 2 min read
run-of-river plants for low-impact renewable energy

Quick information

  • Available

At a glance

  • Turnkey run-of-river hydropower plants
  • Requires no reservoirs, reducing costs and environmental impact
  • Provides a clean, affordable alternative to fossil energy production

Tinfos’ run-of-river power plants give communities access to low-impact clean energy, fuelling growth while preventing emissions.

Lack of access to electricity severely affects the health, education, and economic growth of more than 1 billion people worldwide.

If the world is to the achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and meet the targets of the Paris Agreement, this electricity gap must be filled using renewable energy sources.

In terms of capacity, hydropower is by far the largest source of renewable energy. However, hydropower plants often require extensive infrastructure and investments. Providing electricity to rural areas

Turnkey run-of-river plants for low-impact renewable energy

Run-of-river plants, where the turbines are powered by the natural flow of the river without the need for reservoirs, provide a smaller-scale, more accessible alternative to traditional hydropower plants.

Tinfos provides run-of-river plants with an output of up to 50 MW per plant. The company offers complete turnkey projects, including obtaining licences and permits, project development, financing, power purchase agreement (PPA) negotiations, construction, start-up, and operation of the plant.

Tinfos run-of-river plants are connected to the power grid, with the electricity distributed by local distribution systems. The company can also deliver complete turnkey projects in an offline mode.

The run-of-river plants can either be operated locally or remotely from Tinfos’ global operational centre. While first-line maintenance can be undertaken by local staff, Tinfos also provides specially trained service and maintenance personnel through its subsidiary Tinfos Vannkraftservice, when necessary.

The complete waterway and penstock at the Manipi plant
The complete waterway and penstock at the Manipi plant is covered by natural habitat, and the powerhouse blends in with its surroundings.

Concrete benefits

Because run-of-river plants generate power by allowing the river to flow freely through the facility, there is no need to build a reservoir. This reduces impact on the surrounding environment and local communities. This makes them particularly suitable for remote or rural areas, where communities often rely on diesel generators or coal power to meet their energy needs.

Run-of-river plants are also easier and less costly to build and maintain than dam-based hydropower plants.

Turnkey run-of-river plants
The intake at the Follsjå plant in Norway has minimal incursion on nature.

Market potential

Tinfos has an extensive portfolio of run-of-river plants in Norway and Indonesia. The company is currently developing plants in the Western Balkans as well as expanding its operations in Southeast Asia. These are regions where electricity demand is on the rise, but which still rely predominantly on fossil energy production.

Established in 1894, Tinfos is a technology company that finances, develops, builds, transfers, operates and maintains hydropower plants. Today, the output of Tinfos’ developed Norwegian hydropower installations totals approximately 600 GWh. By 2030, the company aims to have developed and built run-of-river plants with an additional global annual production of 1 TWh.

Turnkey run-of-river plants
The hydropower plants blend into their surroundings.

Fred Kanton

Project Director - International

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