Farmers show interest in Micro-hydro power.

In a suitable location small-scale hydropower is one of the most cost-effective and reliable of the renewable energy technologies.   It has several advantages over wind and solar power, with a high level of predictability, varying with annual rainfall patterns. It is a long-lasting and robust technology and systems can readily be engineered to last for 50 years or more.

Those attending were given an understanding of the principles of micro-hydro, connecting to the Grid and the economics of potential systems. Eoin was then able to demonstrate the plant on Ballynalough Farm.

Renewable Energy Event at CAFRE’s Enniskillen Campus on 22 February 2012:

Organising committee. From left: Gareth Gormley, DARD, Connor Maguire, CAFRE, Lindsay Easson, AFBI, Kieran Coulter, DARD, Eric Long and David Trimble, CAFRE.

For those  interested in energy from micro-hydro and other renewable technologies, DARD, in conjunction with the Ulster Farmers’ Union  and Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute are running another Practical On-farm Renewable Energy Event, this time at CAFRE’s Enniskillen Campus on Wednesday 22 February from 1.30pm through to 10.00pm.

The Fair is open FREE of charge to anyone in the farming and rural sector who are interested in reducing their costs through adopting more energy efficient practices and will provide a platform to network, source, meet suppliers and keep up-to-date on energy-saving systems and renewable technologies.

There will again 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 the issues facing those considering a green energy source. Topics covered will include the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), grid connection, planning, NI Renewable Obligation Certificates (NIROC’s), business planning, taxation, as well as finance and funding options.

In addition there will be a Trade Exhibition and the opportunity to see the biomass boiler installation at Enniskillen campus. For further details contact Connor Maguire at 028 6634 4853 or

Hydro projects in Northern 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. 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 484 tonnes or more of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions by generating clean, green electricity.

Shane’s Castle Hydro Project, Antrim

Omagh District Council  are  utilising the weir on the Camowen River, adjacent to Omagh Leisure Complex, to generate electricity through an Archimedean Screw hydro turbine. This hydro project is the second of only two Archimedean Screw hydro projects to date in Northern Ireland. 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. It is expected that this project will be fully commissioned and operational in the coming weeks.

Omagh Hydro Project, Tyrone

We look forward to meeting you at the show.

We offer a friendly one-stop shop for hydro development, from feasibility studies to licensing, to installation and commissioning and everything in between.



Small wind turbines ride out last week’s Atlantic storms

Last week’s violent Atlantic storm brought extremely high winds to the West and North of Scotland, with the Met Office recording maximum wind gusts of 165mph on Cairngorm Summit and 145mph at Aonach Mor.* The Met Office issued its strongest warning – a red alert – for winds in Scotland, and people were warned to stay indoors, schools were forced to close and flights were cancelled.

For owners of Evance R9000 small wind turbines, however, Scotland’s extreme wind speeds didn’t present any challenges. The Evance R9000 turbine is designed to keep running in the highest winds, and features an innovative Reactive Pitch™ mechanism that automatically pitches the turbine’s blades so it can regulate energy capture and blade speed.

Evance has over 50 of its R9000 turbines installed in the Orkney Islands. All continued to perform well during the storm, confirming the applicability of small wind turbines even in these most extreme conditions.

Evance R900 5kW Wind Turbine

One Evance turbine owner, Adam Cockram, lives on Eday – one of Orkney’s Northern Isles – where peak gusts of over 130mph (58 metres per second) were recorded. According to Adam: “on Thursday night and Friday morning last week the wind gusted at up to 138mph. I did wonder whether our Evance turbine would keep going, and I’m glad to say that there were no problems at all!”

“Like many in Orkney we experienced several mains power failures. Each time the turbine started back up with no problems at all,” continued Adam. “I’m certainly impressed by the quality of both the Evance turbine and the installation carried out by Orkney Micro Renewables. It’s certainly been tested here on Eday!”

Adam Cockram’s Evance R9000 turbine was commissioned in August 2011, and in five months has already produced 7,343kWh of electricity.


The Evance R9000 installed on a farm near Ferns, Co. Wexford.