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Case Study

Norwegian micro hydro plant chooses Emotron AFE drives

Making use of the energy potential in rivers and streams, micro hydro is a highly cost-effective and environmentally friendly form of hydroelectric power. Norway currently has 982 small-scale hydropower plants of this kind. CG Drives & Automation was recently chosen to supply a new one in Skie - an addition to an existing plant, with a power supply of <90kW to the grid.

[13 June 2014]

Challenges to overcome
Until 2014, micro hydro plants were not allowed to feed into the grid.
New legislation has changed this, but micro hydro plants still face scepticism from local grid owners who are concerned about providing fair and equal access. This is one challenge. Another is that in a small remote plant such as Skie, the instal-lation consists of equipment from several different suppliers. Each element needs to withstand the tough local conditions, and to work smoothly in combination with the others.

The benefits of small scale hydroelectric plants

  • Renewable energy source with low environmental impact
  • Easily available and delivers power to remote areas
  • Makes use of natural energy potential in rivers
  • Reasonable investment level
  • Can harvest the power of micro water or small streams and feed back any   excess electricity to the grid

About Micro hydro
Micro hydro systems use the natural flow of the water to produce up to 100 kW of electricity. They eliminate the need for fuel and thus provide an economical energy source for all kinds of power needs, including developing nations. Such systems are also often used to provide energy to small communities or isolated homes, and can even be connected to the grid.

Why was CG Drives chosen?
How did CG Drives & Automation become the preferred supplier for the new Norwegian plant? The main reason behind the owners’ decision was the robustness and reliabilty of our products.

Trouble-free solution
Emotron AFE* drives, 90kW were installed in the new Skie plant. Based on standard Emotron AC drives, they offer the same reliability, easy handling and advanced functionality as the standard model.  They are delivered as complete solutions in IP54 classified cabinets.

*Emotron Active Front End

Plans for future plants?
“Since the micro hydro installation in Skie has been working well since its installation two months ago, three similar plants are now being planned for Drammen in Q3/Q4 2014,” says Johannes Fossheim, one of the owners.

The owners of Skie micro hydro plant, Johannes Fossheim & Kåre Eide


Petersen Engeneering A/S, Johannes Fossheim, Kåre Eide, Norway
The challenge:
Grid owners sceptical to small scale production/distributed production. Equipment must be suitable for use exposed and remote locations
The solution:
Emotron AFE drives, are easy to handle and robust enough to withstand tough conditions
The benefits
Steady pressure and less stress on the water pipes

Reliable operation and constant control