Fish-friendly Hydro for Omagh – Part II

Omagh District Council has recently commenced work on a hydro project utilising the weir on the Camowen River, adjacent to Omagh Leisure Complex, to generate electricity through an Archimedean Screw hydro turbine. The development of the hydro scheme on the Camowen River will generate sufficient power to meet the needs of Omagh Leisure Complex with excess electricity sold back to the national grid.

The Archimedean Screw arrived early on Friday morning by ferry from Germany.

Arrival of Archimedean Screw to site

Rated at 121 kilowatts the hydro turbine is predicted to save in excess of 133 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) annually and will make a major contribution to the Council’s green philosophy. This project will complement the Council’s initiatives to develop ‘green’ energy from renewable sources, including the installation of a biomass boiler at Omagh Leisure Complex. The revenue generated by the electricity from the hydro scheme will be contributed to a sustainability fund, which would become a resource to support other sustainability projects in the district.

The Council was very conscious of the importance of the Camowen River as a fishery, and of the concerns of anglers. After various consultations it was decided that the most suitable turbine for the site was an Archimedean Screw. The Archimedean Screw turbine provides a fish-friendly alternative to conventional turbines, ideally suited to low-head (1m-10m) sites, and sites with fish protection issues.

The 220 tonne crean lifting the turbine into place

 

Lifting the turbine into place

 

Archimedean Screw craned into position

 

Bolting the Archimedean Screw securely into position

 

The Archimedean Screw in position

The site has seen many changes over the past few weeks. Safety screens and handrails have been installed. Landscape work is almost complete and it is  is expected that this project will be commissioned and fully operational in the coming weeks.

Safety screens in place

Handrails in place

Project near completion

Hydro projects in Northern Ireland:

This Hydro project is the second of only two Archimedean Screw Hydro projects to date in Northern Ireland. Eco Evolution and Mann Power Consulting are installing both turbines. Mann Power Consulting based in Yorkshire are the pioneers of the Archimedean Screw in the UK and Ireland and Eco Evolution  are their authorised representative for the whole of Ireland.

The first ever Archimedean Screw generator in Northern Ireland was only recently installed at Shane’s Castle in Antrim. Rated at 214 kilowatts this is the largest single Archimedean Screw generator ever manufactured. Eco Evolution and Mann Power recently installed the massive Rehart manufactured machine at Shane’s Castle. It is now fully commissioned  fully operational.

The predicted annual output is a massive 1,125,000 kilowatt-hours. To put this in perspective, an average household uses less than 5,000 kilowatt-hours per year, so this hydro scheme has the potential to power more than 225 houses. This scheme will also save an impressive 840 tonnes or more of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions by generating clean, green electricity.

Fish-friendly Hydro

Eco Evolution and Mann Power together offer an unrivalled level of expertise and experience when it comes to the Archimedean Screw hydro turbine. Between us we have carried out well over 120 feasibility studies on low head hydro sites and have completed over 55 scheme designs. We also provide solutions for old mills that want to retain the traditional water wheel with a number of projects completed and operational with the old water wheel redesigned and refurbished or with a new water wheel manufactured.

Eco Evolution, as well as being involved in the relatively large sized projects in Omagh and Shane’s Castle in Antrim where the largest ever manufactured Archimedean Screw hydro generator of 214 kilowatts has been installed, are also currently working on a smaller 20 kilowatt private scheme in Co. Antrim that will shortly be submitted for planning. This scheme is situated on a farm and will generate an estimated 65,000 kilowatt-hours (or units of electricity) per annum with a  Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions saving of over 40 tonnes. A small scheme like this would be capable of powering approximately 15 average households.

Eco Evolution also have two schemes planned on the river Slaney, the famous salmon and trout river in Carlow/Wexford that is also a Special Area of Conservation, one of these recently received planning approval and the other is currently in the planning process. The Archimedean Screw has made hydro schemes possible on rivers such as the Slaney when proper mitigation is implemented. In fact hydro schemes can, and have, enhanced and improved fish passage and migration on many sites that  Eco Evolution and Mann Power have been involved in.

Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) Certification:

With regard to Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) Certification, Mann Power are registered under the scheme as Transition Installer 109. Note however that the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in the UK recently announced that they are proposing to withdraw the exclusive link between micro hydro and the MCS for the purpose of the Feed-In Tariff eligibility as they have recognised that there is a case to treat micro hydro differently due to the special and complex nature of micro hydro development. DECC will consider how this can be taken forward as part of comprehensive review of the Feed-In Tariff.

Incentives and funding available in Northern Ireland:

Incentive payments in way of Northern Ireland Renewable Obligation Certificates (NIROCs) are available for renewable generators including hydro. NIROCs are available for the electricity generated by the hydro turbine, this electricity can then be used on site with the excess exported to the national grid. There is an Export Tariff available for any excess electricity that is exported to the national grid.

Funding may be available for hydro projects through the Rural Development Programme (RDP). The RDP aims to improve the quality of life in rural areas by supporting a wide range of projects. These include diversification into nonagricultural activities, support for business creation, encouragement of tourism activities, village renewal and development, basic services for rural communities and conservation and upgrading of the rural heritage. The RDP is delivered by seven Council Clusters using the LEADER approach, these Council Clusters have facilitated the creation of Local Action Groups (LAG’s), which cover all sectors of the community. If you would like to find out more about what is available in your area please contact your LAG or your local DARD office. All details available online at www.rdpni.info

The Eco Evolution professional team offers a friendly one-stop shop for hydro development, from feasibility studies to licensing, to installation and commissioning and everything in between.

Fish-friendly Hydro for Omagh – Part I  The development of the site on the Camowen river.

All photographs copyright of Eco Evolution.

Practical On-farm Renewable Energy event at CAFRE’s Greenmount Campus 1st November 2011

Representatives from DARD, UFU and AFBI at the meeting to launch the Practical On-farm Renewable Energy event

Following on from its success in 2010, the “Practical On-farm Renewable Energy” event will be held once again on Tuesday 1st  November 2011 at Greenmount Campus. The event will run from 11.00am until 9.00pm in the evening.

DARD has again joined forces with the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU), and the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) to provide practical information for farmers and the rural sector about the various renewable energy options available for their businesses.

There will be a series of seminars throughout the day on each of the main renewable energy technologies; wind power, biomass production and utilisation, anaerobic digestion, solar hot water, micro-hydro and heat pumps.

A second series of seminars will deal with many of issues facing those considering installing a green energy source. Topics covered will include the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), grid connection, planning, NI Renewable Obligation Certificates (NIROC’s), marketing NIROC’s as well as finance and funding options.

In addition there will be a Trade Exhibition and the opportunity to tour the renewable energy installations at Greenmount Campus.

If you are interested in exhibiting in the trade stand area please contact CAFRE at technology.admin@dardni.gov.uk or telephone 028 9442 6770. As space is limited it will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

For further details contact David Trimble at 028 9442 6682 or david.trimble@dardni.gov.uk.

As a result of feedback from attendees last year, a follow-up event will also be held at CAFRE’s Enniskillen Campus on 22 February 2012.

 

Seminar programme for CAFRE, 1 November 2011

 

Start Time Technology Seminar Speaker Meeting the Challenges Speaker
11.30 On-farm Energy Efficiency David Trimble Funding Gareth Gormley
12.00 Biomass

  • Production
  • Utilisation
  • Economics
  • RHI
  • Case study
 Alistair McCrackenLindsay EassonPeter Hutchinson

Simon Best

Grid connection Gerry Hodgkinson
12.30 Finance Trevor Finlay
13.00 Planning Permission Planning Service
13.30 Solar hot water Martin Mulholland Taxation Anne Douglas
14.00 AD 

  • Technology
  • Planning
  • Grid & PPA
  • Finance
  • Case study
  Nigel MoorePlanner

Andy McCrea

Trevor Finlay

Jim Torney

Renewable Heat Incentive Peter Hutchinson
14.30 NIROCs Michael Harris
15.00 Funding Gareth Gormley
15.30 Planning Permission Planning Service
16.00 Micro-hydro Eoin McCambridge Marketing NIROCs Jonathan Buick
16.30 Heat pumps David Trimble Grid connection Gerry Hodgkinson
17.00 Solar PV Greg Forbes Taxation Anne Douglas
17.30 Solar hot water Martin Mulholland Planning Permission Planning Service
18.00 Micro-hydro Eoin McCambridge Funding Gareth Gormley
18.30 Heat Pumps David Trimble NIROCs Michael Harris
19.00 Wind

  • Technology
  • Planning
  • Grid & PPA
  • Finance
  • Taxation
  • Case study
 Anita WattsPlannerAndy McCrea

Trevor Finlay

Anne Douglas

James Carson

RHI Peter Hutchinson
19.30    
20.00    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UK plan for microgeneration, including small hydro, released

The UK has released an action plan to promote microgeneration and decentralized energy in the country, including measures that allow greater flexibility for the development of small hydropower.

 

The strategy includes actions to improve the Microgeneration Certification Scheme process, making it work more effectively for SMEs while continuing to protect consumers – for example by allowing greater flexibility in the treatment of small hydro installations. This will be taken forward through the Feed-in Tariffs comprehensive review launched later this summer.

 

The British Hydropower Association said it welcomes the government’s recently-announced strategy. As far as hydropower development is concerned, the strategy is timely and finally acknowledges that micro hydro is substantially different from other technologies such as wind and solar, the association said.

 

British Hydropower Association Chief Executive David Williams said: “Micro hydro has been around for millennia – the most common form being the watermill, the rural and industrial powerhouse of the world prior to fossil fuel power and grid systems. Mills are now electricity generators exporting power to the grid and mill and landowners, farmers and communities can now develop clean and efficient projects and the government’s Feed-in Tariff is the ideal incentive to do this.

 

That is, apart from schemes up to 50 kW which were required to qualify under the MCS accreditation system designed for all renewable energy technologies.

 

“Unfortunately MCS just was not appropriate for hydro developments which are already rigorously regulated under environmental and planning consenting requirements. The assumption that a householder could just visit his local supermarket and buy a water turbine generating unit and then get it installed and therefore had to be protected from rogue manufacturers and installers is not appropriate. This was causing potential developers extra angst and uncertain costs from a system which was supposed to remove these barriers. As a result, projects were being shelved.” He continued.

 

“It is therefore with great relief that the new government strategy states that it is to withdraw the exclusive link between micro hydro and the MCS for the purpose of Feed-in Tariff eligibility.”

Source: Hydroworld.com

Fish-friendly Hydro for Omagh – Part I

Omagh District Council has recently commenced work on a hydro project utilising the weir on the Camowen River, adjacent to Omagh Leisure Complex, to generate electricity through an Archimedean Screw hydro turbine. The hydro scheme uses the same intake point that was used to feed the headrace to Scott’s Mills that started operations about 1850 in the town.The development of the hydro scheme on the Camowen River will generate sufficient power to meet the needs of Omagh Leisure Complex with excess electricity sold back to the national grid.

Rated at 121 kilowatts the hydro turbine is predicted to save in excess of 133 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) annually and will make a major contribution to the Council’s green philosophy. This project will complement the Council’s initiatives to develop ‘green’ energy from renewable sources, including the installation of a biomass boiler at Omagh Leisure Complex. The revenue generated by the electricity from the hydro scheme will be contributed to a sustainability fund, which would become a resource to support other sustainability projects in the district.

Omagh Leisure Complex is amongst the most modern leisure facilities having almost doubled in size from its opening in 1982 with further expansion planned. Set in 26 acres of landscaped grounds the complex caters for everyone from the casual swimmer to the serious athlete.

This project to develop a hydro turbine on the Camowen River will create a very valuable resource for renewable energy, with many benefits being re-invested to the community and providing a valuable educational resource for Omagh. Not only will the provision of this renewable energy help protect the environment, but it will also contribute to achieving the Council’s target for energy consumption from renewable sources.

Site on the Camowen river prior to works commencing
Bank cleared in readiness for construction of the hydro scheme

With flood protection in place ground works begin

The Council is very conscious of the importance of the Camowen River as a fishery, and of the concerns of anglers. After various consultations it was decided that the most suitable turbine for the site was an Archimedean Screw.
The Archimedean Screw turbine provides a fish-friendly alternative to conventional turbines, ideally suited to low-head (1m-10m) sites, and sites with fish protection issues. Extensive fish passage tests have conclusively demonstrated that the large water chambers and slow rotation of the Archimedean Screw allow fish of all sizes, and debris, safe passage through the turbine. As a result, the Environment Agency has agreed that no screening is required.
Literally thousands of fish passages have been monitored and recorded using underwater cameras at the intake, inside the chamber of the Screw itself and at the outflow to assess the effect of the Screw on salmonids (including smolts and kelts), brown trout and eels. The trials looked at fish passage across a broad spectrum of sizes and turbine speeds, possibly the most impressive of which was the safe passage of a kelt measuring 98cm in length and weighing 7.6kg. In addition, behavioural and migrational patterns across the species have been shown to be entirely unaffected by the turbine.

Pile driving and deep excavation for the intake channel

Foundations laid

Reinforced concrete works at power house location

Pre-cast culvert units aligned to form part of the intake channel
Sluice gate installed
The power house and intake channel have now been constructed.

Construction of the Intake Channel

Intake channel leading to the power house

 

Power house and sluice gate

Larinier fish pass to improve fish passage at site

Dual flight Larinier Fish Pass with resting pool installed alongside screw location

This Hydro project is the second of only two Archimedean Screw Hydro projects to date in Northern Ireland. Mann Power Consulting and Eco Evolution are installing both turbines. Mann Power Consulting based in Yorkshire are the pioneers of the Archimedean Screw in the UK and Ireland and Eco Evolution based in Co. Wexford are their authorised representative for the whole of Ireland.

Mann Power Consulting and Eco Evolution are the Archimedean Screw generating specialists in the UK and Ireland. Mann Power Managing Director, Dave Mann, brought the Archimedean screw as a generating turbine into the UK for the first time in 2004. Dave commissioned the fish passage studies instrumental in persuading the Environment Agency to accept the technology. Mann Power have a proven track record of successful installation throughout the UK and Ireland and their services are split into five distinct stages allowing clients complete flexibility to decide their own project timescale. They offer a fully integrated 3-D design and build capability and they are the sole distributors of Rehart Archimedean screws in the UK and Ireland.

The first ever Archimedean Screw generator in Northern Ireland was only recently installed at Shane’s Castle in Antrim. Rated at 214 kilowatts this is the largest single Archimedean Screw generator ever manufactured. Eco Evolution and Mann Power recently installed the massive Rehart manufactured machine at Shane’s Castle. It is expected that the scheme will be commissioned shortly and it will then be fully operational.

The predicted annual output is a massive 1,125,000 kilowatt-hours. To put this in perspective, an average household uses less than 5,000 kilowatt-hours per year, so this hydro scheme has the potential to power more than 225 houses. This scheme will also save an impressive 484 tonnes or more of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions by generating clean, green electricity.

Eco Evolution are also currently working on a smaller 20 kilowatt private scheme in Co. Antrim that is at the early stages of development. This scheme will provide power to a farm with excess electricity sold back to the national grid.

Incentive payments in way of Northern Ireland Renewable Obligation Certificates (NIROCs) are available for renewable generators including hydro. NIROCs are available for the electricity generated by the hydro turbine, this electricity can then be used on site with the excess exported to the national grid. There is an Export Tariff available for any excess electricity that is exported to the national grid.

The Eco Evolution professional team offers a friendly one-stop shop for hydro development, from feasibility studies to licensing, to installation and commissioning and everything in between.

Eco Evolution are also currently seeking suitable investment sites for hydro development around the country. Leases on suitable sites with potential in excess of 50 kilowatts would be considered.

All photographs copyright of Eco Evolution.

Fish-friendly Hydro for Omagh – Part II

The installation of the Archimedean Screw.