# 2012 Barcelona
The term “hydroelectricity” conjures images of massive concrete dams and vast reservoirs that harness the power associated with moving water. More recently, however, technological advancements and environmental awareness have resulted in renewed interest in small-scale hydroelectric projects. These unique installations are often referred to as “pico”, “mini”, “micro”, or “run of the river” hydroelectricity and they hold the potential to bring a clean, reliable and renewable source of electricity to developing countries and/or remote locations. This paper will provide a brief overview of newly developing hydroelectric technologies and examine the role that plastic pipe, specifically high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe, may play in the design, construction and operation of small-scale or low-head hydroelectric power plants. This paper will focus on the engineering properties of HDPE pipe and the potential advantages of these materials in hydroelectric applications. The discussion will then conclude on a case study involving the construction of the 10 megawatt Choloma hydroelectric power plant in the remote reaches of Guatemala. The advantages of HDPE pipe ranging in diameters from 18” (457 mm) to 48” (1220 mm) for this specific project will be examined in detail. From this, a more comprehensive understanding of HDPE pipe in the development and expansion of these cost-effective, environmentally-friendly hydroelectric applications will result.