What is run-of-the-river hydro energy?

Run-of-the-river Hydro energy schemes utilize the natural flow of the river to generate electricity. Only a portion of the water from the river is diverted for power production and it rejoins the river afterwards. A notch in the weir ensures there is sufficient flow in the river all year round that reflects the natural variation in flow rates.

Benefits of run-of-the-river hydro energy

Environmental Sustainability: By ensuring natural flow patterns are maintained, run-of-the-river projects minimize disruption to aquatic ecosystems, supporting biodiversity.

Low Environmental Footprint: These projects have a smaller environmental footprint compared to large dam-based hydropower, avoiding significant alterations to river courses and impassable barriers on fish migration routes.

Compatible With Battery Storage: Run-of-the-river systems generate a varying electrical output, but they can be combined with battery or other onsite storage systems to produce a more steady output, or to meet demand at particular times of day.

What makes a good hydro site?

  • A steep section of river, preferably a gradient of 1:10 or more, with length 1km or more
  • A flat area at the top and bottom, for the intake and powerhouse
  • Not located on a salmon or sea trout migration route
  • Proximity to a grid connection point
  • Good flows throughout the year

GreenPower projects

Our flagship hydro project, the Carie run-of-the-river hydro project, has been harnessing the power of flowing water since 2015. GreenPower utilized our extensive hydro knowledge in the development, construction and now continued operation of our 500kW Carie Turbine. This project not only contributes clean electricity to the grid but also stands as a testament to the longevity and reliability of our hydro installations.

Development process

Should you be considering a potential hydro scheme GreenPower is the ideal company to talk to due to our expertise in taking hydro sites from the initial feasibility stage right through the planning, design and financing phases to construction and operational management. GreenPower is therefore well placed to deliver projects on time and on budget. In addition, the GreenPower team has built up good working relationships with the relevant consultees and planning authorities to ensure a swift and easy process.

If you would like to discuss your project with GreenPower, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will offer confidential honest advice.