Small hydro in Manitoba

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Melvin, Lindsay M. K.
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This thesis examines the feasibility of implementing small hydro as an alternative energy source in Manitoba. An alternative resource is sought to serve consumers in an environmentally and economically acceptable manner. Small hydro uses run-of-the-river concepts with kinetic turbine technologies; it does not allow water retention exceeding twenty four hours. This thesis examines small hydro according to the subjects of turbine technologies, flow management, site selection and economic analysis. Current reaction turbines and new off-the-shelf kinetic turbine designs may be used in conjunction with methodologies for increasing flow rates to produce a reasonable amount of power in an environmentally acceptable manner. Undeveloped small hydro sites exist in northern Manitoba where communities are currently served by costly diesel generation, and in more southern locations with transmission and road access. An economic analysis of small hydro requires a community survey, a cost-benefit analysis, and comparisons with other technologies. Conclusions indicate that small hydro is potentially viable in Manitoba and warrants a more detailed feasibility study.