The set up

The set up
5.46mm jet delivering 0.68 l/s to the pelton which is rotating at 900 rpm and generating 135 watts into the grid.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

More paper work !

At the end of each month I need to remember to keep my records up-to-date.  

This November has been a bonanza month for generation, especially considering it was only from Nov 5th that there was sufficient flow to generate anything at all.  By the end of the month, 393.7 kWh will have been clocked up, and the capacity factor for the month will be a very presentable 0.73.

I need to remember because a return stating the volume of water I've abstracted has to be sent to Natural Resources Wales (NRW).  NRW like the year to be broken down into individual months, and you have to give the volume abstracted in each month. The return has to be sent in within 28 days after 31st March but fortunately they post the form to you as a reminder.

For my scheme, to generate each kWh requires 13 m³ of water;  this is a figure the NRW call the Hydro Abstraction Factor and they tell you how to calculate it for your scheme.  The inputs to the calculation, which will vary from site to site, are the 'water-to-wire' efficiency and the head of the scheme.

Here is the spreadsheet I keep of monthly abstraction so everything is to hand at the end of March to complete the annual return:


So that was one bit of paperwork I had to remember to do.  The other was applying for payment for the kWh's generated in the past 3 months.  Since the turbine doesn't operate for most of that quarter, for lack of water, a November claim is the lowest of the year: just £71 on this occasion.

Claiming feed-in-tariff is a much more straightforward business. I opted for a contract with Scottish and Southern Electricity (SSE) simply because they're the company we purchase power from and it seemed to make sense to stick with them.  Submitting a generation-meter reading on-line is simplicity itself at the SSE webpage. You immediately get email confirmation of your claim being processed and payment comes through direct to your bank account, - somewhat unusually on this occasion, within 48 hrs.

Co-incidently, I had a letter from SSE today telling me they're in the process of updating their FIT payment system.  When completed, I'll be assigned a new date in each quarter on which to submit my FIT claim and more detail will be provided about how it is calculated.  Additionally, their man who comes to read the meter will, in future, read both consumption and generation meters at the same visit.

So the take-home message is: in the UK at least, there is a fair amount of bureaucracy involved in operating even a small hydro installation, but like a tax return, so long as you keep on top of all the figures and the deadlines, it isn't burdensome. 

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