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 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 were presented to the EA with outline designs and costings and a number of the 7 schemes may move to development. 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.