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Hydropower is one of the most cost-effective means of producing clean renewable electricity, and is generally equated with higher efficiency, reliability and capacity than solar, wind, or wave and tidal energy technologies. It’s 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, many small-scale hydropower schemes once regarded as unviable are now in development.

Specialist energy lawyers behind hydro’s resurgence

Our team of specialists has worked on many hydro projects, including run-of-river schemes from the Thames to the River Exe, and smaller micro-hydro and mill installations. So whether your scheme is 10kW or 10MW in scale, we have the insight, experience and expertise to help you with whatever you need.

Support for all stakeholders, at every stage of hydro development

We work with community groups, developers, funders, utilities, landowners and technology providers, imparting advice on everything from site acquisition to power purchase agreements. We maintain a clear focus on finding the right path for your hydropower project and helping you through the complexities of the site and technology.

Contributing to hydro industry awareness and progress

We speak regularly at the British Hydropower Association (BHA) conferences, often on partnership approaches and hydro projects without subsidy.

Our hydropower expertise includes:

  • planning & environmental impact
  • Environment Agency consents and licencing
  • fisheries
  • technology warranties
  • funding
  • real estate due diligence, 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 and grant funding.

Our hydropower experience includes:

  • Brendon Energy – Exe Valley Hydro – acting for a community developer, undertaking due diligence and putting in place three 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 60 years.
  • Hydro Mills Group – an initial trial project of three mill and weir sites to a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding bid, working with Mid Devon District Council, South West Water, the Environment Agency and other partners to make the scheme feasible – not just in terms of electricity generation, 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, involving up to 60 landowners.
  • Exeter Community Energy – initial feasibility studies on a hydro site in the centre of Exeter.
  • Goring and Streatly Hydro – a hydro scheme on the river Thames to include a lease with the 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 agreements.
  • Peter Tavy Hydro – initial feasibility on a community hydro scheme.


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