Hydro-electric power is one of the oldest and most established sources of renewable energy.
Specialist and tailored legal and taxation advice is essential to maximise return from any scheme to harness such power, whether developed by a landowner in-house or by way of a third party developer.
Agreement of Rights for Hydro-Electric Developments
Early identification of the rights of third parties in any potential hydro-electric power scheme is essential, and our hydro energy lawyers advise clients accordingly.
Agreements will be required with:
- the owners of the opposite bank of the watercourse;
- the owners of any part of the watercourse between the point of abstraction and the outflow; and
- the owners of any salmon fishings in the watercourse.
Hydro-electric Developments – Third Party Ownership
Consideration should be given to protecting any part of the catchment area in third party ownership in order to ensure the long term supply of water to, and thereby the viability of, the scheme. Rights over land within third party ownership may be required for the purpose of access to the scheme and, if the scheme is to be connected to the grid, for cabling.
Leases, licences and other rights of occupation by third parties must also be considered in relation to hydropower developments.
Turcan Connell's Renewables Team regularly advises upon the most appropriate form of legal documentation to ensure that the necessary agreements continue for the lifetime of the scheme and are enforceable against successive third party owners.
Turcan Connell has accredited specialists in the field of agricultural law and can provide expert advice where a hydro-electric scheme affects land subject to an agricultural tenancy. We guide clients through the complexities of crofting law where a scheme is to be located on croft land and have particular expertise in dealing with applications to the Scottish Land Court for resumption of land from crofting tenure for the purpose of renewable development.
Funding for Hydro-Electric Energy Schemes
For many clients, a hydro-electric power scheme will be funded by a commercial lender or investor and Turcan Connell can assist with all aspects of funding.
When compared with other renewable technologies, hydro-electric energy schemes often have a long life span and, therefore, it is important to ensure that the income stream from a scheme is received in a tax efficient manner for the benefit of future generations, as well as for the landowner at the point of construction.
Turcan Connell's Hydropower Expertise
Turcan Connell can provide a fully integrated service for landowners covering all legal issues arising out of the development of hydro-electric schemes, combining expert knowledge of taxation, business structure, equipment procurement contracts, funding, agricultural and crofting law and property law advice as required.