Micro-Hydro Feasibility (Legal and Financial)

Legal feasibility

Most water is regulated by government, in some form or other. Before constructing anything you should consult with local and regional government offices regarding permits and restrictions. Even if there are no restrictions, we ask that you respect the environment and restrict your water intake to no more than 50 percent (20 percent ideally).

Financial feasibility

In places where a site is practical for the implementation of a micro hydro energy system, this form of renewable energy is at least 10 times (and some insiders say as much as 10,000 times) more economically practical than any other form of renewable energy.

Estimated cost

Industry prices range near $1000 per kW for a strictly AC system. This would imply that you have a steady, relatively invariable water flow and steady, invariable energy usage.

A system using AC/DC (battery based) will cost in the range of $1000 plus $10 per watt.

For remote locations, the outlay to acquire grid interconnection will likely make a robust micro hydro site very appealing. For a home or business already connected to the grid, micro hydro may also be advisable, depending on the power available at the site.

You might also be able to participate in net metering, to sell hydro back to the grid.

Be sure to consult our page on micro hydro siting.

Micro-hydro is a renewable energy system, so it qualifies for government incentives.

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