Commercial hydro installations, which tend to have an output of greater than 50kW are larger than micro hydro systems and are suitable for commercial ventures and community projects. These often require more extensive civil engineering work, though they produce more energy. Given that their impact on the surrounding area will be greater, there are also more significant planning implications.
Hydro projects are becoming more popular for communities wanting to generate sustainable electricity and reduce their carbon footprint. A 100kW hydro system, for example, could provide enough energy to power 80-100 homes, and as with micro hydro systems, any surplus energy generated can be sold back to energy companies. You can also receive payment for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy produced under the Feed-in Tariff generation scheme. This makes hydroelectricity a sound business investment.