Cares renewable ENERGY







Hydro ENERGY Handbook



 A  separate  set  of  Toolkits.       The  Hydro  Energy  handbook  includes  the  following  sections:   Technology   Environmental  aspects.   System  requirements.   Evaluate  which  technologies  or  options  may  be  appropriate  for  your  community.     It  discusses  the  variety  of  technologies  that  have  been  employed  by  community  groups  across   Scotland.   This  Handbook  is  intended  as  an  introductory  text.   Is  the  renewables  technology  suitable  for  your  community  group?   Introduction  to  available  schemes  and  grants.   Technologies  available  on  the  market.     Tips  for  project  development.   Case  study.Renewable Energy Technologies This  Handbook  aims  to  help  you  to:       Learn  the  fundamentals  of  renewable  hydro  energy  generation.   Identify  and  access  valuable  online  resources  for  further  information  and .  The  principles  of  how  the  technology  works  is  provided  along  with  the  key  issues   regarding  installation  and  operation  as  well  as  environmental  impacts.   (available  Autumn  2013)  will  provide  more  detailed  guidance  and  tools  to  assist  community   groups  and  rural  businesses  to  develop  a  renewable  energy  project.    Like  the  Handbook  the   Toolkits  will  be  available  on  the  CARES  web  site:  localenergyscotland.   Explore  and  discuss  the  range  of  technologies  and  options  available  to  your  community.  covering  the  main  aspects  and  issues  that   need  to  be  considered  for  each  of  the  technologies  listed  above.

  with  around  1.                                                                                                               1  Statistics  from  Scottish  Renewables.   medium-­‐head  and  low-­‐head  examples  are  shown  in  Figure  2.  which  is  enough  to  power  the   equivalent  of  more  than  900.       Other  benefits  of  hydro  are  that  it  is  a  largely  predictable  resource  of  renewable  energy  (the   annual  generation  can  be  predicted  using  historical  rainfall  data/catchment  flow  data).  which  may  be  suitable  for  a   community  or  rural  business  development.  The  hydro  scheme  generates  electricity   as  and  when  water  is  available  in  the  watercourse.500kW  of  installed  hydropower  capacity.  the  Abernethy  Trust  has   installed  an  89kW  run-­‐of-­‐river  hydro  scheme  to   provide  onsite  generation  for  their  facilities.  Much  of  this  capacity  is  large-­‐scale  hydropower.     There  a  wide  range  of  different  configurations  of  hydro  scheme.       A  report  published  in  2008  by  the  Forum  for  Renewable  Development  in  Scotland  (FREDS).  and   typically  has  a  conversion  efficiency  rate  of  60%  to  80%  for  smaller  hydro  schemes   (<100kW).  accurate  as  of  the  end  of  2012.  with  support  through  the   CARES  program.     There  is  a  long  history  of  hydro  in  Scotland.77TWh.  identified  that  there  was  about  650MW  of  unexploited  hydro  resource  in  Scotland.  and  then  returned  to  the  watercourse.   However.  a   Government-­‐chaired  body  with  industry  representatives  on  the  opportunity  for  new  hydro  in   Scotland.  with   one  of  the  first  schemes  built  in  the  1890s  at   Fort  Augustus  Abbey  which  was  an  18kW  system   and  used  to  provide  electricity  for  the  village   and  the  electric  organ  at  the  abbey.  in  June  2010.   .   Potential  hydro  resource   Source:  Community  Energy  Scotland   Hydro  power  makes  a  significant  contribution  to  Scotland’s  renewable  energy  generation.  or  are  looking  to  re-­‐instate  old  hydropower   schemes.   Depending  on  the  watercourse.  A  range  of  high-­‐head.   with  an  annual  potential  generation  of  2.  estates.Hydro Technology description Hydroelectricity  involves  the  conversion  of   potential  energy  stored  in  water  held  at  a   height  to  kinetic  energy  to  drive  a  mechanical   shaft  which  then  drives  an  electric  generator.000  homes1.  A  further  study  suggested  that  Scotland’s   hydro  resource  could  be  up  to  twice  this  level.  about  10%  (161MW)  is  smaller-­‐scale  hydro.  When  the  river  dries  up  and  the  flow   falls  below  a  predetermined  level  then  electricity  generation  will  halt.  More   recently.  hydro  schemes  can  have  a  high  capacity  factor  of  about  50%   (this  would  equivalent  to  the  turbine  operating  at  maximum  output  for  50%  of  the  year).   Interest  in  smaller  hydro  power  plants  is  growing  and  some  communities.  passed  through   the  turbine.  Hydro  offers  a  great  opportunity  to  develop  a  resource  that  is  local  and  has  a  long   operating  life  (typically  50  years+).  and  rural   businesses  now  have  operating  systems.  two  types  are  relevant:     Run  of  river  –  in  these  schemes  the  water  is  taken  directly  from  the  river.

    .       Determining  the  flow  pattern  is  a  more  complex  exercise.    The  nature  of  river  geography  is  that  large  rivers  with  high  flow   rates  tend  to  run  in  valleys  with  modest  or  low  head.  normally  undertaken  using  a   software  program.  when  water  flow  is  at  a  low  level.  the  ideal  scheme  is  one  with   high  head  and  high  flow.  this  allows  electricity  generation  for  extended   periods.         The  annual  energy  output  (kWh)  depends  on  how  much  water  is  available  over  the  course   of  the  year  –  this  will  vary  with  rainfall.  e.  while  streams  that  have  a  high  head   tend  to  be  in  upland  areas  and  have  a  lower  low  rate.     The  head  is  relatively  easy  to  assess.  and  then  run  down  a   steep  slope  have  potential.  These   schemes  are  often  associated  with  larger  infrastructure   projects  such  as  flood  control  or  water  abstraction.     Flow  rate  (Q)  –  the  volume  of  water  flowing  through  the  turbine  per  second.  the  key  components  that  comprise  a  hydro  scheme  can   therefore  vary  depending  on  the  site.  The  FDC  is  important  for  both  sizing   the  hydro  turbine  and  also  estimating  the  annual  energy  yield  from  the  scheme.     High  head  schemes  are  easier  to  identify.  this  shows  how  much  water  is  available  in   the  watercourse  and  for  what  percentage  of  the  time.    So  burns  that  drain  a  catchment  area  at  high  level.Storage  –  these  schemes  use  a  dam  to  collect  water  in  a   reservoir.  measured  in   litres/second  (l/s).    Though  some  allowance  is  needed  for  the  pressure  loss  in  pipes.  or  cubic  metres/second  (m3/s).  whereas  a  hydro  scheme  needs  flow  for  as  much  as  the   year  as  possible.   System requirements The  magnitude  of  a  hydropower  installation's  potential  power  output  (kW)  is  directly   proportional  to  two  key  variables:   Head  (H)  –  The  vertical  distance  between  the  water  level  at  the  intake  point  and  where  the   water  passes  through  the  turbine  (m).     Because  the  annual  output  is  the  product  of  both  variables.  there  is  a  wide  range  of  different  scheme   configurations  that  can  be  used.    So  a  realistic  compromise  in  needed.     Most  community  or  rural  business  schemes  would  typically  be  expected  to  be  run-­‐of-­‐river   systems.  screens  and   other  elements  of  the  system.  but  many  burns  in  upland  Scotland  only  have   significant  flow  in  spate  conditions.  from  the  proposed  positions  of  the  intake  and  the   powerhouse.  It  is  typical  for  the  water  resource  in  a  catchment  to   be  expressed  using  a  flow  duration  curve  (FDC).g.           Due  to  the  variable  nature  of  the  hydro  sites.

  Penstock  –  The  main  pressure  pipe  that  supplies  the  water  to  the  turbine  is  the   called  penstock.   .   Tail  race  –  this  is  the  channel  that  takes  water.  cabling.   Figure  1:  Key  components  in  high-­‐head  hydro  run-­‐of-­‐river  scheme.  electrical  generator.  turbine  control  equipment.e.  this  results  in    a   shorter  length  of  penstock  (as  depicted).   Power  generation  system  –  located  within  the  powerhouse.  once  it  has  left  the  turbine  and   returns  it  to  the  watercourse.  dams  and  screens  that   extract  the  water  from  its  normal  flow.     Source:  British  Hydro  Association     As  shown  in  Figure  3.  this  includes  the  hydro   turbine.  to  convey  the  water   horizontally  with  minimum  loss  of  head  closer  to  the  power  house.     Spillways  –  systems  with  a  leat  will  also  typically  have  spillways  to  allow  excess   water  to  be  discharged  in  a  controlled  manor  from  the  leat.  the  major  common  components  of  any  hydro  installation  are:   The  water  intake  system  –  this  can  be  a  system  of  weirs.  In  some  schemes.  the  infrastructure  that  converts  the  potential   energy  into  kinetic  energy  to  generate  electricity).  the  penstock  will  take  the  water  directly  from   the  intake  to  the  powerhouse  or  in  other  cases  there  will  be  a  leat.  grid  connection   equipment  and  generation  meter  (i.     Leat  –  some  schemes  may  use  a  leat.   Forebay  tank  –  where  a  leat  is  used  it  would  be  typical  to  have  a  forebay  tank  to   allow  suspended  particles  to  settle  out  and  smaller  debris  to  be  screened  out   before  entering  the  penstock.  whilst  screening  out  debris  and  not  allowing   aquatic  life  to  enter  the  water  way  to  the  hydro  plant.  an  open  channel.  the  hydro  machinery  will  all  be  located  in  a  powerhouse  where   protected  from  the  outdoor  elements  and  flooding.   Powerhouse  –  unless  the  hydro  plant  is  located  in  a  dam  or  other  structure  in  the   water  course.

    High  head  –  greater  than  50m.     Some  of  the  possible  arrangements  of  different  small-­‐scale.     The  design  requirements  for  high-­‐  and  low-­‐head  hydro  schemes  are  substantially  different.  This  is  reflected  largely  on  the  civil  engineering   requirements  of  the  scheme  and  also  turbine  design/type.  although  this  water  may   need  to  be  transported  further.   Source:  British  Hydro  Association.     .  with  the  ‘mill  leat’  and  ‘barrage’   schemes  representing  low-­‐head  configurations.  high/medium/low-­‐head.  these  are:   Low  head  –  up  to  10m.  run-­‐ of-­‐hydro  schemes  are  shown  in  Figure  4.Grid  connection  –  most  hydro  schemes  are  grid  connected  as  there  may  be  no   immediate  electricity  demand  in  the  vicinity  of  the  powerhouse.  all  but  the  very   smallest  hydro  schemes  will  require  a  3-­‐phase  grid  connection.   High-­‐head  hydro  schemes  will  typically  have  a  lower  flow  of  water.  while  low-­‐head  schemes  rely  on  larger  volumes  of  water  to   achieve  the  same  power  output.       Figure  2:  Examples  of  high/medium-­‐head  and  low-­‐head  hydro  scheme  configurations.   Hydro power technologies Hydro  projects  can  be  broadly  classified  into  three  categories  according  to  the  available   head.   Medium  head  –  10m  to  50m.  The  ‘canal  and  penstock’  and  ‘penstock  only’   schemes  are  both  high/medium-­‐head  configurations.

 Kaplan.  There  are  also  a   number  of  mill  sites  where  waterwheels  have  been  used  for  electricity  generation  at  low-­‐ head  sites.  propeller.  This  type  of  turbine  is   relatively  new  to  the  UK.     Further  information  is  available  by  contacting  Local  Energy  Scotland  on  0808  808  2288     Introduction to available schemes and grants Communities  or  companies  who  decide  to  install  a  hydro  system  can  take  advantage  of   different  supporting  schemes.  This  section  is  intended  to  provide  a   high-­‐level  overview  of  the  two  main  support  schemes.  and  lower  costs.   turgo  and  cross-­‐flow.  These  schemes  are  subject  to  significant  change.The  turbine  selection  for  the  scheme  is  crucial  and  is   dependant  both  on  the  available  head  and  the  flow   characteristics  of  the  site.  In  addition  to  these  factors  the   efficiency  of  the  turbine  at  full  and  part  load  conditions  and   minimum  technical  flow  conditions  (below  which  the  turbine   will  not  operate)  should  be  considered.  examples  of  this  type  of  turbine  are  pelton  wheels.   FITs – up to 5MW FITs  were  introduced  on  1  April  2010  and  replaced  UK  Government  grants  as  the  main   financial  incentive  to  encourage  uptake  of  small-­‐scale  renewable  electricity  generating   technologies.  Kaplan.   Impulse  turbines  operate  in  air  that  is  driven  by  a  jet  of   water.   and  large  change  in  elevation  are  ideal.  This  incentive  supports  hydropower  installations  with  a  total  installed   capacity  up  to  5MW.   You  have  the  agreement  of  all  the  landowners  that  scheme  would  impact  on.  Sites  with  a  short  horizontal  distance  between  intake  and  tail  race.  While  Pelton  wheels.  Turgo  and  Francis  turbines  are  all   suited  to  medium/high-­‐head  applications.  but  the  number  of  installations  is  increasing.   Is a hydro scheme suitable for my community group or rural business? Your  community  group  or  rural  business  could  consider  installing  a  hydro  scheme  if:   You  have  a  medium/high-­‐head  site  (with  a  significant  change  in  watercourse  elevation)  and   a  flow  all  year  round.     .   You  have  community  members  or  a  rural  business  that  are  willing  to  invest  in  the  scheme.   You  have  an  old  mill  site  and  existing  infrastructure  that  can  be  used.   You  have  a  low-­‐head  site  (2m  +)  where  there  is  a  substantial  flow  of  water  all  year  round.     Turbines  can  be  classified  by  mode  of  operation  –  either   impulse  or  reaction  turbines.   The  rotor  of  a  reaction  turbine  is  fully  immersed  in  water   enclosed  in  a  pressurised  casing.  cross-­‐ flow  turbines  and  siphonic  turbines.     Archimedes  screw   Source:  Community  Energy  Scotland   Turbines  that  are  suitable  for  low-­‐head  applications  are  typically.  propeller  and   Francis  turbines  are  all  examples  of  reaction  machines.   You  have  a  nearby  grid  connection  point.  so  they  are   covered  in  full  detail  in  the  accompanying  Handbooks.     An  alternative  low-­‐head  turbine  is  the  Archimedes  screw  turbine  –  which  is  seen  by  some   as  a  turbine  with  lower  environmental  and  fish  risks.

  and  consider  using  intakes  that  do  not  require  cleaning  (where  debris  flows  over  them  )  or  have   automatic  cleaning  mechanism.   7.  all  parties  over  which  any  penstocks  or  leats  cross.   8.    As  these  reduce  manual  intervention.  the  cost  of  grid   connection  can  have  significant  cost  impact  if  there  is  not  a  connection  point  nearby.     Hydro  generating  stations  that  share  civil  works  are  regarded  as  the  same  generating   station.  it  is  possible  to  claim  the  RO  and  to  claim  a  public-­‐ sector  grant.     Tips for project development The  British  Hydropower  Association  provides  information  on  turbine  types  and   manufacturers.  Most  community  hydro  schemes  will   use  the  FIT.   2. Establish  the  head  and  flow  rates  available  at  your  site. Establish  the  simple  payback  and  financial  returns  based  on  the  energy  yield  from  the  scheme   using  the  flow  duration  curve  or  similar  long-­‐term  data.  and  potentially  pay  rent  to.   penstock  and/or  leat  and  powerhouse. Ensure  that  the  installer  has  correctly  sized  turbine  and  adequately  meets  the  sites  head  and   flow  characteristics. Consider  the  nearest  location  for  a  suitable  grid  connection  for  the  scheme.  and  a  useful  step  by  step  guide  to  mini  hydro  developments.     This  section  provides  a  selection  of  tips  for  installing  hydro  systems.       Renewables  Obligation  (RO)  The  Renewables  Obligation  (RO)  is  the  support  scheme   intended  for  large-­‐scale  renewable  energy  projects.  It  should  be  noted  this   is  not  an  exhaustive  list  and  all  projects  present  individual  circumstances  to  consider.     5. Check  the  level  of  automation  proposed  for  screens  and  trash  racks  (that  screen  out  debris).     4.  as  this  is  a  simpler  option  to  register  for  and  it  provides  higher  levels  of   incentive  for  smaller  schemes. Review  the  Scottish  Environment  Protection  Agency  (SEPA)  guidance  for  the  hydro  site  and   review  the  Part  A  checklists.   3.  their  capacity  is  combined  and  this  can  alter  the  tariff  level  received.  It  should  also  consider  the  minimum   flow  at  which  the  proposed  hydro  turbine  will  operate. Consider  construction  access  for  all  of  the  main  components  of  scheme  including  the  intake.  this  should  include  any  changes  to  head   and  water  levels  that  might  occur  at  low-­‐head  sites  when  there  is  increased  flow  conditions  in   the  watercourse  (this  can  often  reduce  the  available  head).     . Check  land  ownership  along  the  proposed  route  of  the  hydro  installation.The  FIT  rates  are  highest  for  small-­‐scale  hydropower  systems  and  reduce  for  larger   systems.  Therefore.     1.   The  EU  clearance  for  the  FIT  scheme  prevents  a  scheme  from  claiming  the  FIT  if  a  public-­‐ sector  grant  has  been  claimed.       FIT  rates  are  now  revised  downwards  annually  for  hydro  and  the  level  of  adjustment  is   calculated  based  on  deployment  rates  in  the  previous  year.  However.  you  will  need   agreement  from.     6.   Contact  the  CARES  program  to  identify  what  support  is  available  in  developing  your  hydro   project.  This  should  also  factor  in  the  ‘hands-­‐off   flow’  that  must  remain  in  the  water  course  at  all  times.  The  full  list  of  tariff  rates  can  be   found  in  the  Ofgem  website.  this  is  especially   important  where  the  intake  is  in  a  remote  location.  these  can  be  found  in  the  SEPA  Guidance  for  developers  of  run-­‐of-­‐ river  hydropower  schemes.

  The  turbine  and  generator. Obtain  planning  permission.  The  hydro  scheme  intake   must  be  designed  so  the  ‘hands-­‐off  flow’  is  always  preserved.   Protection  of  downstream  transport  of  sediment  ensures  that  any  sediment  captured  by   the  scheme  is  returned  downstream.   12. Check  if  the  system  you  choose  is  eligible  for  FITs  or  ROCs.  normally  be  of  a  stone  or  brick  construction.  this  may  require  fish  and  habitat  studies  as  part  of  the  application  for   the  scheme’s  abstraction  licence.   Protection  of  flow  variability  to  ensure  that  the  watercourse  does  not  have  only  the  ‘hands   of  flow’  for  extended  periods  of  time.     Environmental aspects Run  of  river  hydro  schemes  generally  have  very  few  environmental  impacts  provided  they   are  well  designed  and  the  implementation  of  the  schemes  are  carefully  planned.  Consideration  to  further  noise  reduction  methods  should  be  given   where  there  are  likely  to  be  specific  sensitivities  to  noise  being  introduced  into  the  local   environment.  in  this  case  you  will  need  an   agreement  with  the  local  electricity  Distribution  Network  Operator  (DNO)  and  an  agreement   with  an  electricity  supplier  to  purchase  your  export  electricity.  This  is  not  typically  an  issue  especially  as  this  equipment  is   located  in  the  powerhouse.  It  is  recommended  that  references.  abstraction  licences  and  impoundment  licences  (if  required).  the  installation  company  and   product  manufacturers  do  not  need  to  be  approved  in  order  for  the  customer  to  be  able  to   claim  FITs.  a  hydro  scheme  will  be  connected  to  the  local  grid. Review  the  SEPA  Guidance  for  applicants  on  supporting  information  requirements  for   hydropower  applications.  with  only  the  powerhouse  and  intake  visible  in  cases  where  the  penstock  has   .9.  There  are  particular  requirements  where  salmon  and  trout  are  present  in   watercourses  where  hydro  schemes  are  situated.     10. Although  Hydro  technology  is  currently  covered  under  MCS.   Protection  of  low  flows  in  the  water  course  to  ensure  that  the  watercourse  does  not  run   dry.   13.   Protection  of  river  banks  and  river  bed  from  erosion  to  ensure  that  the  hydro  scheme  does   no  accelerate  any  erosion  in  the  vicinity.       Hydro  schemes  normally  have  very  limited  visual  impact  on  the  landscape  once   operational. Typically.  Fish  screens  do  not  apply  to  Archimedean   screws  provided  there  is  no  screen  on  the  tail  race.   11.  like  all  electro-­‐mechanical  equipment.  Planning  permission  is  also  likely  to  require  some  form  of   environmental  statement.  so  a  ‘hands-­‐off  flow’  must  always  remain  in  the  watercourse.     Protection  of  high  flows  ensures  that  the  maximum  flows  in  the  watercourse  are  not   curtailed  to  significantly  by  the  water  abstraction.  qualifications  and  experience  are  sought  from   any  supplier  or  installers  before  engaging  with  them  in  the  project.  so  this  will  provide   some  noise  reduction.  SEPA  has  set  out  specific  guidance  (see  below)  for  hydro   schemes  to  ensure  that  suitable  provision  is  made  for  aquatic  life  and  habitat.  this  includes   some  of  the  following:   Adequate  provision  of  fish  screens  to  prevent  fish  entering  the  hydro  plant  and  fish  passes   that  allow  fish  to  pass  upstream  of  any  structures  put  in  place  by  the  hydro  plant.  hydro  schemes  produce   sound  when  in  operation.     The  main  impact  is  on  aquatic  life  and  the  habitat  that  is  affected  by  the  removal  of  the   water  from  the  watercourse.  such  as   inlet  screens.

 It  is  particularly  aimed  at  schemes  with  an  installed  capacity   of  less  than  about  100kW.       SEPA  has  produced  guidance  for  developers  of  run-­‐of-­‐river  hydropower  schemes  these   should  be  reviewed  at  an  early  stage  of  developing  a  hydro  project  to  ensure  that  the   scheme  is  likely  to  be  acceptable  to  SEPA.  this  guidance  is  separated  into:   Part  A  –  which  provides  a  set  of  simple  checklists  that  can  be  used  at  a  very  early  stage  in   the  planning  of  a  scheme  to  assess  the  likelihood  that  the  scheme  will  be  able  to  obtain  a   water  use  licence  from  SEPA.     Part  B  –  is  intended  to  help  developers  planning  any  size  of  run-­‐of-­‐river  scheme.  It  sets  out   the  mitigation  measures  that  SEPA  will  require  to  be  incorporated  into  hydro  developments   for  the  purpose  of  protecting  the  water  environment.     .  This  is  principally  for  on-­‐site  electricity  use  at  its  School  of  Adventure   Leadership  at  Ardgour.   Case studies The  Abernethy  Trust  has  installed  an  89kW  run-­‐of-­‐river  hydro  scheme  as  part  of  an  energy   generation  scheme.been  buried.  The  energy  savings  and  additional  electricity  sales  from  the  surplus   electricity  generation  are  to  be  directly  reinvested  into  and  for  the  good  of  the  Ardgour   centre.  Both  the  powerhouse  and  intake  are  relatively  small  structures  and  can  be   designed  sympathetically  with  the  local  environment.

 2012   This  document  was  last  updated  July  2013   .   Produced  by  Community  Energy  Scotland  Limited  and  Ricardo-­‐AEA  Ltd   ©  Queen’s  Printer  for  Scotland  2009.   Commissioned  by  the  Scottish  Government  and  Energy  Saving  Trust.  2010.  2011.