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Hydropower

Hydropower is one of the most cost effective means of producing clean renewable electricity, generally with a higher efficiency, reliability and capacity factor than solar, wind, and wave and tidal energy technologies. It is also likely that hydropower has a better energy payback ratio than other power generation technologies.

As a result of changes in technology, better financial incentives, rising fossil fuel costs and the need for comprehensive action to mitigate climate change, some small scale hydropower schemes previously regarded as unfeasible may now be capable of development.

Our team of specialist energy lawyers have worked on many hydro projects: run of river schemes, from the Thames to the River Exe, to smaller micro hydro and mill installations. Whether your scheme is 10 KW or MW scale, we have the experience to be able to assist.

We work with community groups, developers, funders, utilities, landowners and technology providers providing advice on everything from site acquisition to power purchase agreements, with an emphasis on finding the right path for your hydropower project and helping you through the complexity of the site and technology.

We speak regularly at the British Hydropower Association conferences on hydro projects particularly incorporating partnership and hydro without subsidy. We will be presenting again at the BHA conference in Glasgow later this year.

Our hydropower expertise includes:

  • Planning
  • Environment Agency consents and licencing
  • Environmental impact
  • Fisheries
  • Technology warranties
  • Funding
  • Riparian rights and land ownership
  • Grid connections or off grid applications
  • Power purchase agreements
  • Construction contracts
  • Community Hydro Schemes – ownership, energy supply, share offers, procurement, grant funding
  • Due diligence

 

Our recent hydro power experience

Brendon Energy – Exe Valley Hydro
Acting for a community developer, undertaking due diligence and putting in place 3 leases with separate landowners and a power purchase agreement with a statutory undertaker to take 100% of the electricity supply from a small scale hydro scheme for a 60 year period.

Hydro Mills Group
An initial trial project of three mill and weir sites to an ERDF funding bid, working with Mid Devon District Council, South West Water the Environment Agency and various other partners to make the scheme feasible not just on an electricity generation basis but also for catchment management, flood alleviation and smart grids. Once the trial sites are up and running further hydro schemes will be entered into with up to 60 landowners.

Exeter Community Energy
Initial feasibility on a hydro site in the centre of Exeter.

Goring and Streatly Hydro
Hydro scheme on the river Thames to include a lease with Environment Agency.

Wookey Hole Hydro
Acting for the developer on a leased hydro scheme under the historic paper mill at Wookey Hole, including long term power purchase and lease.

Peter Tavy Hydro
Initial feasibility on a community hydro scheme.

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Justin Butt

Associate

Sonya Bedford

Partner and head of energy

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