Unit damage prompts shutdown of Norway’s 161-MW Suldal 1

Norsk Hydro reports it has idled its 161-MW Suldal 1 hydroelectric project at Karmoy, Norway, due to serious damage detected during a maintenance shutdown in March.

The aluminum producer and hydropower operator said in its quarterly report that the shutdown for repairs will have a negative effect on its power production in 2009, especially in the second quarter. It said the cost of repair and lost generation are covered by insurance.

Suldal 1 is part of the seven-plant Roldal-Suldal hydroelectric complex built between 1963 and 1968 to power Norsk Hydro’s Karmoy aluminum plant on Norway’s west coast. Other plants are 41-MW Kvanndal, 1.3-MW Middyr, 49-MW Novle, 161-MW Roldal, 151-MW Suldal 2, and 20-MW Svandalsflona.

Built on the Roldal and Suldal watersheds, the complex terminates at Suldal Lake. The plants have a catchment area of 793 square kilometers and a reservoir capacity of 833 million cubic meters, the largest being Lake Valldal near Hardangervidda National Park.

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