Just spent one and a bit days in S Wales looking at and discussing simpler and more standardised approaches to micro hydro. Those of you who have been following the blog will know this is an area we have been researching for a while. Bringing micro hydro down to between 5 to 8 year payback whilst maintaining quality and efficiency is the current quest. Along with my N West counterpart Garry Sharples we spend yesterday with the ‘drivers’ behind the Green Valley work and who also work through their offshoot hydro development company TGV. TGV is a group of seven committed project managers, engineers and business individuals committed to community and local micro hydro development. I had been seeing them mentioned in a lot of press over the last few years and following a chat at the Royal Welsh spring show we ended up in the Abergavenny area looking at a Peco hydro in mid install and discussing permissions, financing, technical engineering, project management and so on implications
Their approach is simple which is keep things ‘simple’. It’s the figuring out what you ‘need’ and not what you want. This includes their approach to working virtually (cloud based office system) no office with the associated overheads. Whilst maintaining rigour and professionalism when it comes to the hydro work itself. They have developed a nice standardised costing regime and project development track for micro hydro. (Their cost per kw from what i saw means that small hydros become viable in an acceptable time frame). Their work covers everything from the ‘i have a stream’ evaluation for land owners to a full and detailed finance, development and installation package.
But i cant finish this blog without mentioning where we met the team which was at the Talgarth mill. Chris from TGV is also the chairman of volunteer group who have developed, restored and maintain the mill. It had all the ingredients i like. Historic water power, they make their own flour, bake and sell the bread on the premises, cafe with some of the best locally sourced food i have seen but to top is all for me was the quality of the coffee. Who needs an office when you can meet here!