In 2010, Forestry Commission (Scotland) put its land out to tender for companies to bid to develop renewable energy schemes. The estate was split into three lots covering the north, centre and south of Scotland.
Hydroplan was employed by BGC to carry out a hydropower feasibility study and resource assessment of the potential for hydroelectric schemes on the tendered land. Using mapping and catchment analysis software, Hydroplan undertook an initial desk study – identifying approximately 500 potential schemes.
Using a matrix of inputs such as head and water availability, pipe length, and access and distance from local grid infrastructure, this list was then reduced to the 100 best schemes. Hydroplan then undertook site visits to each of these schemes to assess the practicality of construction on the ground.
This study resulted in 50 schemes being taken forward to the next stage and 50 schemes were rejected due to practical constraints.