No hydropower project can proceed unless it secures all of the appropriate consents from the various regulatory bodies. Along with the EA / SEPA consents, hydropower planning permission will be required from the Local Authority and permission to grid-connect the system to the local electrical distribution network. Although these consents are more straightforward to obtain than the EA/SEPA consents, they still require a great deal of specialist hydropower knowledge. Renewables First has more experience of obtaining hydropower planning permission than any other UK hydro company.
Hydropower Planning Permission
Hydro systems by their nature tend to be visually unobtrusive, so provided they are sympathetically designed and constructed using appropriate materials, obtaining hydropower planning permission is not normally a significant issue.
If the hydro system is close to a listed building or weir you will also need to obtain Listed Building Consent. In terms of the process, this is similar to obtaining hydropower planning permission, and again, in our experience obtaining this consent has not been a significant issue provided there is an early consultation with the Conservation Officer and his or her views are taken into consideration.
On larger systems (500 kW+) or on sites that are particularly environmentally sensitive an Environmental Impact Assessment may be required. Renewables First have a lot of experience of the Screening and Scoping Opinion process with the local authority to determine whether or not an EIA is required, and if it is to ensure that the scope of the supporting surveys required is appropriate and proportionate for the scale of the development proposed.
One important point is that because the EA / SEPA are a statutory consultee on planning applications relating to rivers, they will generally not support a planning application unless they have already approved the associated environmental licenses and Flood Defence Consent.
Renewables First employs experienced planners who will:
- make the planning application on behalf of our client
- provide all of the necessary planning statements and drawings to support the application
- specify, commission and manage any supporting specialist surveys works required.
We will also actively manage our applications through the planning process to make sure everything progresses as smoothly as is possible.
Are you considering a hydropower project ?
The first step to develop any hydropower site is to conduct a full feasibility study.
Contact us about a feasibility study today!
Once complete, you will understand the site potential and be guided through the next steps to develop your project. You can read more about hydropower in our Hydro Learning Centre.
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