The maximum exploitable potential for low head hydroelectric sites (gross head≤10 m) in NorthernIreland (NI) was determined as 12.07 MW using a simple payback analysis for 304 potential sites inves-tigated to derive a classification scheme in terms of economic viability. A techno-economic analysiswith validated numerical models from previous research estimated the capital investment required forthe development of a hydroelectric plant, using the low head Michell-Banki cross flow turbine, for the304 sites investigated. The number of potentially viable sites in NI for low head hydro ranged from 198to 286 with an estimated installed capacity ranging from 11.95 to 12.05 MW. Sites with a limited installedcapacity were not economically viable unless increased government support in the form of longer term(25–50 years) low interest loans as well as the current (Renewables Obligations Certificates) RenewablesObligation Certificates scheme is provided and sustained.
- micro hydro