On 2 and 3 March 2023, the fifth Progress Meeting of the HYPOSO Project was held. It was the second last meeting, before the project ends on 31 May 2023. Before the meeting, on 28 February, the Workshop on Framework Conditions for Small Hydropower in Colombia was held, and on 1 March, interested stakeholders were invited to discuss potential business cooperations between potential site providers from Bolivia and Colombia and representatives from the European hydropower industry. This b2b event was organised in a hybrid form.
On 2 March, the regular meeting started with welcome words from Carlos Velasquez (CELAPEH, HYPOSO project partner from Colombia). HYPOSO coordinator Ingo Ball (WIP Renewable Energies) provided then an update about the project status and the last Advisory Board Meeting. Following, Tasniem Jawaid (EREF) informed about the EU hydropower industry cooperation, which is addressed in work package 2 of HYPOSO.
Linas Jurevicius (Lithuania) from VDU gave then an update about the HYPOSO Map, and showed in an animated presentation the newly devoloped features. The HYPOSO Map is technically almost complete, and has been functional already for several months. Miroslave Marence (IHE Delft, Netherlands) reported then about the capacity building courses, which were held in the summer of 2022 in Bolivia and Ecuador, and which are finally assessed. Frosio Next informed then about the nine pre-feasibility studies for the Latin American HYPOSO partner countries. The project partners from Bolivia (UMSS), Ecuador (EPN), and Colombia (CELAPEH) summarized then the experiences of the site visits which happened in summer 2022. Janusz Steller (IMP PAN, POland) presented and discussed then the outlook for the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) which is planned for all pre-feasibility studies. Considering that for smaller hydropower plants, in many cases financing is an issue, Marc Buiting, the financial expert from 1to3 Capital (Netherlands) presented the model, which would enable the financing of sites that are so-called not bankable one, which is often the case in developing countries.
Ewa Malicka (TRMEW, Poland) informed then about the remaining Framework Condition Workshops in Colombia and Uganda. The workshop in Colombia happened two days before the meeting, and the remaining workshop in Uganda was foreseen for 15 March 2023. She informed further about the organisation of the HYPOSO Study Tour which shall start on 3 May 2023. Ingo Ball informed then about the b2b matchmaking events and revealed that it is planned to prepare policy papers that shall be ready for the Final Event on 12 May 2023. He continued the talks informing about the communication activities which are led by WIP.
On 3 March, the consortium used the morning to discuss how the remaining project activities could be implemented. Ingo Ball concluded the meeting with the announcement of the next meeting in Delft, and informed as well about possible follow-up activities for HYPOSO.
In the afternoon, the consortium had the chance to visit the hydropower plant Niquía. Niquía HPP is part of the "multiple use" of Río Grande and is located in Bello, in the north of the Aburrá Valley. It was commissioned in 1993, with an effective net capacity of 19 MW, corresponding to its first stage, as the physical infrastructure was enabled to install two other generating units in the future, for a total capacity of 57 MW. In 2007, the plant generated 98.8 GWh (gigawatt hours).
The water is fed from the reservoir through a 16.4 kilometre-long tunnel to the powerhouse. After the power generation process at the power plant, it is gravity-fed from the loading tank (located at the outlet of the Niquía power station) to the Manantiales drinking water treatment plant, via a 4.1 kilometre-long pipeline, to be used as water supply for the Aburrá Valley. Manantiales has a current drinking water treatment capacity of 5 m3/s.