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How much hydropower income would my system provide?

Hydropower income is slightly complicated. There are several components that make up the total value of generated hydro electricity, namely:

  • Export value
  • Offset value for energy used on-site

Each of these components is described in more detail here along with information on how they can affect the overall value of the energy generated. If you want a simple answer, then assuming 100% of the generated energy was exported with an export rate of 6 p/kWh, and that the hydro system was generating at a typical UK capacity factor of 0.5, then the value of the electricity generated for the system sizes shown below would be:

Maximum Power Output Annual Energy Production (AEP) Annual Income
5 kW 22 MWh £1,320
25 kW 110 MWh £6,600
50 kW 219 MWh £13,140
100 kW 438 MWh £26,280
250 kW 1,095 MWh £65,700
500 kW 2,190 MWh £131,400
1 MW 4,380 MWh £262,800
2 MW 8,760 MWh £525,600

As a comparison, if all energy generated was consumed on site, rather than exported, then the effective value of electricity due to offsetting normal electricity costs would be:

Maximum Power Output Annual Energy Production (AEP) Annual Income
5 kW 22 MWh £2,640
25 kW 110 MWh £13,200
50 kW 219 MWh £26,280
100 kW 438 MWh £52,560
250 kW 1,095 MWh £131,400
500 kW 2,190 MWh £262,800
1 MW 4,380 MWh £525,600
2 MW 8,760 MWh £1,051,200

Also note that the total value of electricity could be around 6 p/kWh more if you can consume the generated energy on-site. This is because rather than exporting it for 6 p/kWh you can use it on site which means offsetting imported electricity which typically costs around 12 p/kWh.Remember that different sizes of hydro systems qualify for different Feed-in Tariffs, so even though larger hydro systems generate more energy, the annual hydropower income generated doesn’t always scale in line with the annual energy production because a larger system may fall into a lower Feed-in Tariff band. This means that in some situations a smaller hydro system may produce a greater hydropower income than a larger one.

Also worthy of mention, many hydropower sites generate a great deal of positive publicity and ‘green credibility’ through association with clean renewable energy generation. Sometimes the value of this is greater than the revenue generated by the system, but because of its non-tangible nature it has been ignored here.

To see how this translates into a return on investment you need to consider what the project will cost and what hydropower systems cost to operate, then the return on investment can be calculated.

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Are you considering a hydropower project in the UK, Ireland or overseas?

Renewables First have considerable experience as a hydro consultant and have a full project capability, from initial feasibility study through to system design and installation.

The first step to develop any small or micro 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.

Maximise the financial return of you hydropower system with GoFlo Travelling Screens. Find out more here.

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