hydro electric is the oldest method of harnessing renewable energy using the potential energy stored in water to turn a turbine and produce electricity.
Although there are over 25,000 sites in England and Wales with rivers, only 4,000 of these have the best potential to create hydro power.
We have helped introduce a number of hydro schemes for our clients and there is a rising interest in developing small scale hydropower as the Government continues to promote and support renewable energy sources.
The benefits of farm scale hydro include –
- An efficiency factor of 70%-90% making hydro by far the best of all energy technologies
- A typical capacity factor in excess of 40% compares favourably with 10% for solar and 25%-30% for wind energy
- High level of predictability, varying with annual rainfall patterns
- Good correlation with demand (ie output is maximum in winter)
- Long lasting and robust technology with systems engineered to last 50 years or more
There are 3 main areas to assess when considering a hydro scheme –
- Resource and potential output - this will involve quantifying the available head (height difference) and flow
- Likelihood of success – you will need to consider the physical constraints - environmental, access, ownership and the ability to construct the scheme
- Grid connection and on site power requirements
The technology is constantly changing and therefore it is important to speak with professionals who can assess the feasibility of your site before any investment is made.
Our renewable team can offer professional advice on -
- Site assessment
- Planning applications
- Applications to the Environment Agency for the various consents and licences required
If you would like an initial appraisal to assess if your land might be suitable for hydro power, please contact one of our renewable energy team.