Atel will set up a new company, Ecopower Scandinavia, to take over the responsibility for constructing and operating the plants. At present, 12 projects are being planned in western and northern parts of the country, and these are expected to be implemented over the next three years. Power from these plants, amounting to more than 130GWh, is to be marketed by Oslo-based Atel subsidiary Energipartner.

The Norwegian schemes will join Atel’s existing portfolio of small hydro plants in Switzerland and Italy. In 2006, Atel founded Atel EcoPower in Switzerland with an initial injection of US$41.25M for investment in small hydro schemes. The company is implementing projects for small hydro power plants at several dozen locations. Added to this, Atel has been operating a 2MW plant on the Gotthard Pass since 1991.

In Italy’s northern Piedmont region, Atel generates electricity from two small power plants and aims to build additional plants in conjunction with a partner.