Hydroelectric plants convert the energy in flowing water into electricity using a turbine and a generator.
When considering a hydro project, some key things to consider are:
Do you have a site where the turbine can be housed?
You will need a suitable site to host the turbine, with landowners who are prepared to be involved in the project or lease the land to you.
Does the site have good 'head' and 'flow'?
A good site will rely on having a good head (how far the water drops) or fast flow (how many litres per second) – and ideally both.
Is the flow consistent over time?
The flow needs to be consistent throughout the year. It should also have a limited risk of big fluctuations after rain, which can be short-lived but significant.
For more help and guidance on community hydro projects, see the resources to the right.