Introduction

We are currently involved in the environmental impact assessment of several small hydro schemes in Ireland and the UK.  As this industry continues to grow, we have been responsible for undertaking Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIA) and also Article 6 Appropriate Assessments for sites located within designated Natura 2000 conservation sites.  Some of the schemes we have recently been involved in include the following:-

Islandmore house archimedes turbine and rock ramp

We recently (2012)  prepared the ecology and fisheries assessments for this small hydro scheme on the River Maigue, Co Limerick. This scheme has recently been awarded full planning permission and will be constructed during 2013.  We have also been engaged by the client (2012-2013)  to monitor the scheme during the construction phase, and ensure that all ecological and environmental commitments are met.

Juvenile lamprey survey, River Maigue, Islandmore, Co Limerick

Juvenile lamprey survey, River Maigue, Islandmore, Co Limerick

Coolmore House Micro Hydro Scheme

We recently (2013) prepared the ecology and fisheries assessments, and terrestrial ecology assessment,  for this micro hydro scheme on a tributary of the River Nore, Co Kilkenny. This scheme has recently been awarded full planning permission.

Roe Valley Hydro Scheme

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) proposes to restore a small Hydro-Electric Power Scheme (HEPS) at the Roe Valley Country Park (RVCP) near Limavady, County Londonderry. The River Roe is an important fishery for salmon and sea trout and, along with its tributaries, is a designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC Code UK0030360). The primary reason for designation of this site is the presence of the Annex II Atlantic salmon. We prepared the water quality, fisheries and aquatic ecology impact assessment for the scheme. During the baseline survey of the river a significant population of the Annex II listed brook lamprey was recorded in the river.

Juvenile salmon form the River Roe, Northern Ireland

Juvenile salmon form the River Roe, Northern Ireland

Owenafinna Hydro Scheme

We recently completed a fisheries and aquatic ecology impact assessment for a small hydro scheme on the Owenafinna River, Co. Kerry. The watercourse is recognised as an important salmon and seatrout river, with good stocks of brown trout. We  also carried out sampling for the protected freshwater pearl mussel as this watercourse contained suitable habitat for this species.

Mill River Scheme

We recently (2012) prepared an Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) and Natura Impact Statement for a proposed small hydropower electricity generation scheme on the Mill River in Buncrana, Co. Donegal. The proposed development will entail renovating and upgrading an existing weir, mill race and pipelines constructed or installed around the start of the 20th century to generate electricity for the Swan Mill in Buncrana, a protected structure which has been abandoned and currently lies derelict.

Mill River Falls, Co Donegal

Mill River Falls, Buncrana, Co Donegal

Ennistymon Falls Scheme

We also recently (2012) prepared an Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) and Natura Impact Statement for a proposed small hydropower electricity generation scheme on the Inagh River, Ennistymon, Co Clare. The proposed development project would include the redevelopment of the existing turbine installation. This would involve the construction of an Aqua Shear” Coanda” screen at the location of the existing intake.

Ennistymon falls, River Inagh, Co Clare

Ennistymon falls, River Inagh, Co Clare

Other projects

We are involved with further  small hydro schemes in the UK and Ireland at present. However, due to the early planning stages of these schemes we cannot name them at present.

For a list of other project experience please see  the ‘Current Projects‘ section of our main website.

Dr. Will O’Connor is a Senior Ecologist who has over 25 year’s professional experience. He is a graduate of the University of Wales, Cardiff, and the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, and a full member of both the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management and the Institute of Fisheries Management. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and a Chartered Biologist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s