Consultancy & Design
If you are interested in developing a small hydro system we would recommend taking advice from an expert – most people find the process much more complicated than they first expect and it is easy to make small mistakes early on that prove very expensive in the long run. Whether the site is an old mill or totally new, and whether the capacity is 1kW or 1000kW, we have valuable experience and would be pleased to help you through the feasibility, design, planning and licensing stages. We are not attached to any supply or manufacturing company so our advice is always impartial – we will recommend the best solution for your site given its budget and unique constraints.
We are able to offer an initial opinion of the likely power available at a site free of charge (by telephone or email). We will also suggest what the first steps should be if there is power available.
For us to be able to carry out this Desk Study, we need to know:
- Site location (grid reference, or postcode and description)
- Name of the river / stream
- Estimated fall (vertical – e.g. how high is the weir at the site? Or how high up a hill could water be diverted from a stream compared with the height of the bottom of the site?)
You can use telephone, email or our website contact form to supply this information.
When you are more certain of your site’s potential we would recommend a 'Pre-feasibility Study', 'Design Report' or 'Full Feasibility Report and Licensing' service. Please contact us to discuss what these entail and which are appropriate for you. We are confident that you will find our rates competitive.
Here are some examples of consultancy projects that we have been involved with:
QUARRY BANK MILL
Another example of an installation requiring our very sensitive design approach. In this case because it is an important feature of a very popular National Trust property. This historic visitor attraction generated hydro-electric power several decades previously. Our installation continues the site's renewable energy tradition but also caters for more modern concerns by incorporating improved fish passage. The present hydro scheme at Quarry Bank Mill is a 50kW Kaplan system operated through a Derwent Hydro control panel.
Derwent Hydro took on this project part way through the planning and licensing process, to enable the landowner-investor to get through the discharge of planning conditions and updating of the abstraction licence. We then took on project management, including procurement, and oversaw the whole construction and commissioning process in time for the FiT deadline in July 2016. This 100kW scheme is situated in a part of Snowdonia National Park where there is significant archaeological and ecological interest and hence finalising construction methods and supervising implementation was complex and involved but was completed to the full satisfaction of the authorities concerned. Toby Roberts of scheme operator Clogau Renewable Energy Limited said "We have been working with Derwent Hydroelectric Power (DHP) for the last 2 years on a 100KW Hydro scheme, which from the outlook seemed simple but as with many schemes of this nature come with all kinds of unforeseen issues. The team at DHP have been instrumental at resolving these issues by managing the entire project. From start to finish they have all been professional, helpful, amenable, knowledgeable and great value for money.".
PLAS TAN Y BWLCH
Derwent Hydro was appointed by the Snowdonia National Park Authority to provide site survey, scheme design, Environment Agency consultation and feasibility services. This was with respect to a high head 30kW scheme at the Authority’s Environmental Studies Centre in the National Park. The scheme required a particularly sensitive design because it is subject to a designation as a Special Area of Conservation under the European Habitats Directive and is also partly a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Derwent Hydro was instructed by Derby City Council to undertake the feasibility and design work for a new 230kW hydropower station on the Council’s land at Longbridge Weir in Derby City Centre. As a result the project achieved the necessary permissions from the planning authority and the Environment Agency. The £1.5M installation was carried out with our continued oversight and is now operational. It feeds power into the council house making substantial and direct reductions to the Council’s energy bills and carbon emissions. It also serves as an educational facility for the local community and improves fish passage at the weir.