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Small-scale hydro energy

Our Energy Delivery Programme supports the development of small-scale hydroelectricity on the Welsh Government Woodland Estate

This land is not suitable for large hydroelectricity generation projects, but small-scale schemes of between 10 kilowatts (kW) to 1 megawatt (MW) can be integrated into working forests if care is taken to manage the impact on the environment and other forestry activities, such as our access and recreation infrastructure.

Plans for the future

Since 2014 we have worked with Developers and community groups to enable 14 small scale hydro schemes across Wales, 13 of which are now operational. We are still receiving small numbers of applications and continue to enable schemes on the NRW Managed Estate.

NRW are also embarking on a self-build programme and are currently concentrating on 10 schemes across Wales with a view to putting schemes into planning and licencing during FY17/18. Work on the Garwnant small scale hydro scheme has commenced and is due to be completed in September 2017.

If you have any questions about our programme or projects please e-mail:

Hydropower scheme licences

Natural Resources Wales is responsible for issuing Water Abstraction Licences, which are required to allow the abstraction of water for any hydropower scheme in Wales.

Find out how to apply for a licence on the Hydropower Schemes page.

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