Baileys and Partners professional energy services are working to help maximize revenue of the Rhiwlas Hydro Scheme with the aim of increasing output by 20%
By the kind permission of the Price family at the Rhiwlas Estate, we have the pleasure of introducing Llyn Maen Bras Hydro, a 95kW reservoir fed hydroelectric scheme, commissioned in March 2012.
Llyn Maen Bras Hydro began as an idea very many years before 2012. The idea formed part of a wider Estate vision which did not just involve constructing a hydroelectric scheme, but to use the opportunity for doing so to make water supply improvements to the farm, better manage flood risk generally and to provide local power within close proximity to the supply.
The vision proved to be one of the Estates greatest challenges – the process of securing licensing and planning was enduring which involved compromises at nearly every turn, but several years later (and all consents having been obtained), 3.2kM of pipe was eventually laid over two roads, one watercourse, bisecting two different ownerships, and four tenancies with the result being a feed from reservoir to a vertical shafted Turgo turbine operating off 180m height difference (head) at a maximum turbine flow of approximately 80 litres/ second.
Since 2012 the scheme has managed to produce enough power annually to meet the electricity needs of over 40 homes, and yet the battle to sustain this supply continues with the common enemy being adverse weather, technology failures, and other external risks such as regulation and bureaucracy, with endless auditing and inspections. 2016/ 2017 has introduced new risks namely the risk classification of the reservoir itself under the Reservoir Act 1975, and re-rating assessments which threaten to increase the rating value threefold.
It is very likely that such risks will continue to threaten the viability of hydroelectric schemes going into the future. Baileys and Partners professional energy services are very proud to be engaged in seeking to manage such risks, but managing risk is not enough when faced with the prospect of there being only 15 years left of the feed in tariff. As such the plan is to both manage risk, and increase generating output by 20% through a careful diet of engineering and design changes.
The service offering includes;
1. Provision of an initial engineering report and annual performance reports thereafter.
2. A single point of contact for all your engineering and administrative needs.
3. The provision of a local experienced servicing and maintenance team, from manual screen cleaning, to mechanical and electrical engineering solutions.
4. A blend of weekly remote monitoring and control and “hands on” presence.
5. Organising scheduled servicing provision.
6. Breakdown diagnosis and rectification options where required.
7. Management of the submission of abstraction and generation data.
8. Alternative Dispute Resolution services where necessary.
The benefits of the above have shown to reduce downtime and maximise the potential revenue stream over the project lifetime whist ensuring continued regulatory compliance. The best part is that all of the benefits are calculable prior to costs being incurred on such services.
And so the journey continues…