Scion’s primary focus area is the development of small to medium hydro power plants, generally up to 20 MW in size or multiples of 20MW units.
Scion has unique expertise in this sector, which provides it with a critical leader advantage in the identification and scoping of hydro power projects, which have higher yields due to exceptional hydrology characteristics. These high-yield projects generally result in a higher asset utilisation when compared with Solar PV/CSP and Wind.
The Scion expertise includes a uniquely-developed, web-based, Geographical Information System (GIS) with integrated Catchment Modelling, which it uses to identify potential hydropower sites. This enables spatial planning by using topography, land use, rainfall and upstream water use to model river flows for hydropower generation, especially in areas where there is no reliable long-term flow data for rivers available. It also evaluates the hydropower site’s proximity to the electrical grid and major power consumers to identify power sale opportunities. Having this unique ability to more accurately model river flows, where often there are no historical flow measurements available, gives Scion the ability to better comprehend and develop “Run of River” hydro projects that would otherwise be deemed to be too risky due to lack of information.
The efficiency, quality and long-term durability and reliability of the hydropower turbine technology is another critical success factor of hydropower projects. For this, Scion’s partner is Mavel, a.s., a Czech-based turbine supplier, known worldwide for their highly efficient and robust turbines in the small to medium sized hydropower market.
Mavel, a.s. uniquely supplies a full range of hydro turbines, to suit almost any combination of head versus flow, including micro-turbines, Kaplan turbines, Francis turbines and Pelton turbines. This means that Scion and Mavel, a.s. are able to jointly develop an optimised solution for any hydro power site. Mavel, a.s. brings considerable expertise to Scion in terms of the specific execution of hydropower projects, as well as hydraulic analysis and project support, having been integral to the development and construction of a variety of hydro power projects worldwide.
Scion furthermore has a working relationship and agreement with Norhard, a.s., a service provider for full steerable directional drilling that offers both cost and environmental advantages in the design and construction of penstocks. This provides Scion with cost-effective solutions for accessing unique high-head, low-flow hydro power projects in Africa, which would otherwise be too costly, too environmentally damaging or infeasible to implement by means of traditional pentstock design due to challenging terrain and topography. The Norhard robotic steerable drilling solution also provides Scion with access to hydro development opportunities in environmentally sensitive areas, which would be impossible to develop otherwise. Using the Norhard directional robotic drilling, the complete penstock development is invisible and below the surface. Projects can therefore be done without disfiguring steep mountain slopes with unsightly penstocks.