ECOFACT are experts in providing ecology assessments and Article 6 Appropriate Assessment reporting for small hydro scheme developments. We have extensive experience as ecological consultants, with specific experience in water quality, fisheries and aquatic ecology and hydrology, with particular reference to aquatic and riparian environments within designated Natura 2000 conservation sites. Dr. William O’Connor is the Senior Aquatic Scientist at ECOFACT and he worked for most of the 1990’s for the Irish Electricity Supply Board’s Fisheries Conservation Unit. At the ESB he worked on mitigation and fisheries projects in relation to large hydro schemes on the Rivers Shannon, Lee, Erne and Liffey. He has also worked on numerous small hydro schemes over the past 12 years as an independent consultant.
One of the more recent projects that ECOFACT have been involved with is the Roe Valley Hydroelectric Scheme in Northern Ireland. On this project ECOFACT were the lead fisheries and aquatic scientists. This project is being progressed by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and has been designed to be an exemplary project for small hydro development in Northern Ireland.
In addition to fisheries assessment, we also provide full hydrology assessments and terrestrial ecology assessments for proposed small hydro schemes. These schemes are often developed at old mill sites, and these buildings can often contain bats. We also provide full bat surveys as relevant during our assessments.
ECOFACT’s relevant recent project experience with regard to small hydro schemes includes the following:
- Ecological Impact Assessment, Fisheries Impact Assessment and Appropriate Assessment Screening for the Islanmore House hydro scheme, Croom, Co. Limerick.
- Ecological Impact Assessment, Fisheries Impact Assessment and Natura Impact Statement for the Falls hydro scheme, River Inagh, Ennistymon, Co Clare.
- Ecological Impact Assessment and Appropriate Assessment for the Mill Power hydro scheme, Buncrana, Co. Donegal.
- Aquatic Ecology and Fisheries Assessments for the Roe Valley hydro scheme, Northern Ireland.
- Aquatic Ecology and Fisheries Assessments for the Mount Brando small hydro scheme, Co. Kerry.
- Ecological Assessments and habitat restoration plan for Mahon Falls Hydro, Co Waterford.
- Ecological Impact Assessment including fisheries assessments for the Glasha River small hydro scheme, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
- Ecological Impact Assessment including aquatic ecology and fisheries assessments for numerous abstractions and regulation schemes as part of Regional Water Supply schemes for Galway County Council, Mayo County Council, Kerry County Council and Sligo County Council.
ECOFACT are also currently preparing feasibility studies for a number of small hydro schemes in Co Kerry on behalf of Rainpower, which have not currently gone to planning. We are furthermore working on several small hydro scheme proposals Co Offaly, Co Kerry and Northern Ireland.
For further information on our capabilities in relation to ecology, fisheries and Article 6 Appropriate Assessment please see our main website www.ecofact.ie.
We follow Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Guidelines on the Planning, Design, Construction & Operation of Small-Scale Hydro-Electric Schemes, and provide assessments on small hydro schemes to satisfy all the reqyirements of Inland Fisheries Ireland, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Northern Ireland Environmental Agency, Loughs Agency and Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure Northern Ireland.