Small Hydro • 2010-2011
From May 2010 to July 2011 RDC took the lead for a significant community hydro power programme for Rural Development Agency, Cadwyn Clwyd, in the county of Denbighshire, North Wales, which had already established a local Hydro Club composed of farmers and community groups.
RDC has assessed 20 potential micro-hydro projects in the river valleys of the Dee, Clwyd, Alyn, Clywedog and Ystrad and written feasibility studies for 7 of those sites, ranging from 3 – 55 kW with a mixture of high, medium and low head schemes. The EA were engaged at the project launch, which drew experience from The Green Valleys projects in the Brecon Beacons and a closing event involving many other stakeholders took place in July 2011.
Micro-hydro pre-applications have now been presented to the EA with outline designs and costings and a number of the 7 schemes will move ahead. In addition, RDC researched the total micro-hydro potential in Denbighshire through a ‘ground-truthing’ exercise, which used the recent EA mapping of potential hydro sites (on ‘barriers’) in Denbighshire. It was found that of the mapped capacity of 15 MW in the county, only 1 MW could realistically be developed due to some errors in the EA methodology.