RESTOR Hydro Interractive Map Presented at Partner Conference in Ljubljana Slovenia – September 2012

Summary: The Initial Release of the RESTOR Hydro Mills Map was released at the Partner Group Meeting in Ljubljana Slovenia.  The meeting unveiled the interactive on-line map and a detailed and extensive review of the criteria and methodology to be followed by the Data Partners included hundreds of pages of documentation and guidance.

Release:

The presentation included the release of the first version of the Map which is based on the High Performance Amazon Cloud technologies to allow all of the Data Partners to enter the positions and additional data for potential hydropower restoration sites within the EU-27.  At the point of release the Map is available to the partners to start developing and adding the 50,000 data points that are the minimum agreed with EEACI under the EU contract.

All types of existing or historically evident barriers within the waterways will be included. Types include existing and former mills, weirs, dams, barrages and other man-made interruptions of the water flow.  Data should be reported where ever there was or is an impact on the waterway and where there is evidence of historical use.  These sites have potential beneficial use for the future.  To increase user friendliness and performance, a web-based interface with a high-speed infrastructure has been be created using cloud service technologies (initially Amazon Elastic) to enhance accessibility in all EU-27 member states.

Discussion and Presentation:
The Mills Map module is intended to provide an authoritative source of information on the micro hydropower potential provided by historic sites in all EU Member States. It includes data on historical water wheel, mill, weir and other existing lateral river structures. This mapping element will be publicly available in each member state enabling any party to see the location of mills with potential for power generation.   It is hoped that this will facilitate project development and the creation of energy cooperatives.  RESTOR Hydro will provide information on the micro hydropower potential of historic sites in EU member state and coupled with the HYDI database will make information freely available to regional authorities, redevelopment agencies, cooperatives, municipalities, local hydropower developers, interested members of the public, and others, to encourage adoption and refurbishment in all of the regions of the EU-27. This will in turn work as a tool to improve social acceptance by bringing hydropower closer to the community.

The database includes required and optional data elements as well as additional supporting tools and techniques.  The required data are described as:

GPS Coordinates, an estimation of the physical location of the site using a standardized GPS coordinates system commonly used in internet mapping and GPS devices worldwide with sufficient accuracy to locate sites for further inspection and determination of interest for restoration:
  • The GPS coordinates of each site (Northing and Easting to a minimum of four (4) decimal places; e.g. 50.0753; 4.5491)

Historical Use, the following definitions are used:

  • M indicates a watermill, sawmill and any attendant dam or weir that may have been used for mechanical power generation
  • W  is indicative of a weir, dam or other lateral structure or river obstruction that was used for purposes other than power generation
  • U is indicative of unknown or other.  This classification is to be used when it is not clear that a site is M or W or if the site is degraded to a condition that makes identification impossible.  This classification may also include historical electrical power stations in need of restoration

Estimate of Restorable Condition:

  • D indicates a degraded condition.  The stream or river is free flowing with few or no visible remnants. Historical records or other indicators suggest the site existed
  • M indicates a moderate condition.  Some visible remnants remain.  These remnants may be a ruin or other historical building.  River obstructions may exist that are in need of restoration or re-creation to bring the site back into service
  • A indicates an advanced condition. The site is a substantially complete weir or other river blockage.  It  may have or need a fish bypass or other elements

Estimate of Power Availability:

  • P1 is estimated to be up to 40 KW
  • P2 is estimated to be between 40 and 300 kW
  • P3 is estimated to be between 300 kW and 1 MW
  • P4 is estimated to be between 1 and 10 MW
  • Name, a friendly name that may be used by the team or the site owners to identify the site
  • Site address, may be pre-populated by Google Maps API or other data sources of information, nearest indicative street address, may not be accurate and only serve as a rough indication of the location
  • Expected mean flow rate (Q) in m3/sec
  • Expected head (Hn) vertical drop over weir or through waterwheel
  • Expected hydropower potential expressed in Kilowatts (kW), typically used only if an estimate has been made by other authoritative sources
  • Restorability (text area field) to be used for general comments and challenges or opportunities that may be known about the site
  • Environmental sensitivity (text area field) to be used to describe any local or regional concerns and matters that should be addressed to ensure an environmentally friendly solution or any necessary  environmental mitigation
  • Historical sensitivity (text area field) to be used to describe any historical elements or opportunities that could the foreseen during the restoration of a site
  • Grid connections (text area field) to be used to describe distance, cost, contact or other details elaborating the potential to provide electricity to the local and distributed grid networks from the given site
  • Comments or Remarks (text area field) Undefined optional data are allowed in this free-form text field.  Suggestions include but are not limited to:

And additional optional data elements may be added by data entry partners.  This data should use the pre-determined formats and / or have agreed definitions in the free-text fields available on the data partners section of the  web site.  Currently defined optional data elements include:

o    data source, e.g. Internet Maps, Cart de Cassini, authority source, other web site

o    comments about quality of information or other points that may be of concern to public, agencies or site developers

Following this release and the meeting discussions decisions are underway for the development of additional supporting tools and techniques as well as further explanation and revisions to the project and partner documentation.

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