Pre-application process for hydro scheme

This has been introduced in April 2014-09-14; It is not compulsory, however, is a useful first step to engage with the EA.

The documents are now all on the Gov website, both pre-application and application for abstraction can be found here.

The Pre-application is made up of 2 sections:

  • Pre-application
  • Environmental checklist

Pre-application

At the pre-application stage, you are required to have a fairly detailed understanding of what the project will be. At this stage it is helpful for you to have found out certain information, information about the river can be found in the River basin management plan, including the ‘water body status’ of the river, under the Water Framework Directive.

It is useful to get in touch with the Environment Agency at the earliest possible stage. You will be assigned an account manager, who will be able to inform you of the Abstraction Sensitivity Band of the river.

Information required for the application:

  • Where the turbine will be sited;
  • Where the intake and tailrace will be, if there will be a depleted reach;
  •  What turbine and how many;
  • What flow you will be going through the turbine(s);
    • A flow duration curve
    • Expected energy output (with calculations shown)
    • Gross head and net head ( see the hydromatch info here)
  • Site location and permission for access
  1. Site location – 
    1. you need the grid reference for the intake and tail race, Grid reference finder is a handy tool.
    2. use get mapping if an OS plan is required
    3. Who owns the land:
      1. Use the land registry ‘find a property’. This is a free to join membership service, the cost of land registry title’s is £3, per title deed. If there are multiple owners of a small area a written request may be required for £25.
      2. If the land is not registered, it will still have an owner, who will need to be found and consulted. Local Council and old records may help, but it may be quicker to use a service such as Finder Monkey, who will charge approximately £200 to find the land owners.
      3. The EA will require you to know who owns both banks and the fishing rights. Usually the owner of the bank will own to the middle of the river bed.

Flow duration curve

This is based on data derived from gauging stations. Flow ate data can be found on the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology website here. For each gauging station there is daily data, a flow duration curve with details on Mean flow exceedance details. The raw data can be retrieved and used to formulate a flow duration curve. Here is a useful guide to help set up a flow duration curve. Let me know if you need help with this or any of the calculations.

Pico hydro has some really helpful information on their website

Hydro match have a very helpful step by step resource here

Any questions – give me a ring – Kate Gilmartin 07763 756549

And please do join the micro hydro association or the Community hydro forum.