Meet The Board

British Hydropower Association - alex reading


Alex was one of the first employees at Green Highland Renewables (GHR) and has been instrumental in growing the business into one of the UK’s leading hydropower developers. Within GHR, Alex is responsible for the appraisal and development of GHR’s portfolio of hydro schemes.

Prior to joining GHR, Alex served for seven years as an Infantry Officer in the Black Watch, now the 3rd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland. During his time in the British Army he served in Germany, Iraq and Northern Ireland. He holds an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Newcastle University”

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British Hydropower Association - jamie needle

Dr JAMIE NEEDLE – Vice-Chairman

Jamie works as Development Manager for Derwent Hydro, after joining in 2005. He is primarily responsible for acquiring new sites for development, procuring permissions and consents, and arranging finance. Derwent Hydro has been actively involved in developing and operating small UK hydro since the 1980s and has been a supporter of the BHA and its predecessor for around 22 years. Most recently the company has developed and commissioned two new 500kW high head systems for its long term generating portfolio. Jamie has gained a wide understanding of regulatory matters applicable to UK hydro and remains keen to see powers applied appropriately for the benefit of the local and global environment. Outside of work Jamie enjoys music, football, living in Yorkshire and sharing the joys of hydro with his 2 sons.

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British Hydropower Association - adrian


Adrian has worked in the field of Renewable Energy since 1980 when he was a technician at the Edinburgh University Wave Power Research Group. He has an honours degree in Engineering Design and Appropriate Technology from the University of Warwick. Having worked in the field of Solar Refrigeration and Solar Heating he began working in the landfill gas industry in 1990 and the hydro industry in 2006.

He’s currently the Managing Director of Mór Hydro Ltd  a technical consultancy and project developer of hydro renewable energy projects. The company currently owns (in JV) two hydro-electric schemes in Scotland and has provided technical consultancy on more than forty six (46) hydro projects in Scotland. The company also provides technical due diligence services to major high street banks and supervises lender interests in micro-hydro schemes.

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British Hydropower Association - simon hamlyn

SIMON HAMYLN – Chief Executive Officer 

Simon holds a BA Honours degree in 3-dimensional design with a career that has embraced international branded drinks, hotels and leisure, electronic entertainment, magazine publishing, internet businesses and since 2001, consumer and trade membership organisations.

Simon has been CEO of the British Hydropower Association since January 2014, based in Whitchurch, Shropshire with 2 terriers and two young children. He enjoys, when time permits, a love of music, collecting original artwork, cooking, cricket, football, skiing, and running.

Simon is a Trustee of Poetry Whitchurch and a board member of the Samuel Higginson Almhouse Charity.

Simon is a National Council Member and Honorary Life Member of the South African Wingshooters Association.

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British Hydropower Association - andy billcliff


Andy is a Mechanical Engineer and formerly a Director of Npower Renewables and RWE Innogy UK, where he had responsibility for RWE’s UK hydropower, wave and tidal energy businesses, covering all aspects of development, construction and operation of the fleet.

Andy’s passion lies in all things hydro, including tidal Lagoons and tidal stream and now specialises in consultancy work in the Energy sector. Andy is Operations Director for the Morlais Marine Energy project that was established by Menter Môn as the managers for the West Anglesey Demonstration Zone by The Crown Estate.

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British Hydropower Association - charles


Charles spent 25 years in the Army, including commanding his Regiment, 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s). During his service he deployed on a number of operations, including the Middle East, the Balkans and Africa. In 2009, after a spell at Manchester Business School he became the Executive Chairman of Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon Ltd, he founded Gilkes Energy in 2010 which now develops, funds, builds and operates hydro schemes across the UK.

Charles sits on a number of local business forums. Elsewhere he is a Trustee of the Lakeland Arts Trust and he also has a keen interest in Forestry – currently conducting some large scale trials on varying eucalyptus species, planted in Wales, for biomass.

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Oliver Paish is a Mechanical & Hydraulic engineer with 30 years’ professional experience in the research, design and implementation of best-practice hydropower systems, both in the UK and in less developed countries. After 13 years at the international energy consulting firm IT Power, he founded Derwent Hydro Developments, as a sister company to the hydropower operator Derwent Hydroelectric Power Ltd, in order to focus on the design, consenting and implementation of small-scale hydro schemes across the UK. Since then, he has completed detailed scheme designs, project feasibility and regulatory consents for over 80 UK hydro projects, from 2kW to 300kW, and from 1.2m to 200m head, including fish and eel passage solutions. He authored the BHA’s on-line Mini-Hydro Guide (2012) and has been a member of the BHA’s Working Group with the Environment Agency since its inception in 2003, collaborating on their Good Practice Guide for Run-of-River Hydropower, released in 2009 and revised in 2014.

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Keith is a Chartered Engineer and an enthusiastic newcomer to hydropower. His 22 years in electricity generation covers nuclear, biomass, gas-fired and coal-fired technology in assets ranging from 5MW to 2,000MW capacity. Keith is currently Head of Hydro UK Operations & Maintenance for RWE Generation. He lives in Oxford and enjoys cycling and music.

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British Hydropower Association - keiron


Kieron is the founder and Director of Hydroplan UK, which specialises in the consenting, design and construction of small to medium sized hydro projects. Kieron is a hydraulic/mechanical engineer and the early part of his career was spent as a turbine designer.  He is a former Chairman and former CEO of the BHA.

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Martin is a founder member and Chairman of Alba Energy, a Scottish group of Hydro owners. He has worked in the Hydro industry for over 30 years, commissioning his first scheme on the family farm with his father in 1986. Since then he has built and owns2 further schemes on the farm and others ranging from 100 KW to 2 MW on the West Coast of Scotland including a community owned Hydro scheme in Mid Argyll.

He is a Director and one of the owners of CRF Hydropower and Garbhaig Hydropower.

He is an Engineer with a wealth of experience and expertise in the Hydro industry and also has a Forestry degree from Newton Rigg.

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John Lithgow - BHA Board


John started his working life at Ferrari and Jaguar having graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from the University of Edinburgh. He moved back to Scotland in 2002 to help his brother James with the running of the family businesses. It was during this time that he started to explore the potential of redeveloping the family’s standalone 25kW scheme on the Isle of Jura into what would become a dam fed 2MW installation.

Remote from the grid, on a scarcely populated island this project was always going to be challenging. With very limited funds there was little choice but to undertake all aspects of this project’s scoping by himself and learn “on the job”. After six years of work including laying out the concept design, negotiating an Ofgem derogation for the grid connection, writing the EIA and planning submission and raising the non-recourse financing, construction finally commenced.

Despite lots going wrong during the build (and since), he has ended up with one of the most productive small-scale hydro schemes in the UK. The knowledge gained during this project enabled John to develop three further schemes on the mainland bringing the family’s hydro installed capacity to 5MW.


David leads Aaron & Partners’ energy practice which has established itself as one of the leading niche players in the industry, with a reputation for high levels of expertise and service.

David has substantial technical knowledge, experience, and expertise in managing complex and critical problems, and ensuring projects are dealt with effectively, coordinated and properly resourced.

David is a CEDR accredited mediator, and recognised as a ‘Leading Individual’ by independent legal directory, the Legal 500.

Other Non-Board Member

TREVOR McBURNEY – BHA NI Representative

Trevor has a mechanical engineering degree and worked for over 20 years in manufacturing multinationals in a variety of engineering and management roles.  In 2007 Trevor started to pursue an interest in hydropower and in 2012 successfully commissioned his own hydropower site with a 150kW capacity.  In 2008 Trevor formed Hydro NI and since then he has worked in the hydro sector developing projects throughout Northern Ireland. In total Hydro NI has constructed over 20 sites and have an ongoing pipeline of projects in the planning and licensing phase.

Trevor has built good working relationships with all the relevant authorities and has knowledge of the key players in all the relevant government departments.  Trevor sees the BHA role as vital in providing a focal point to address the industry’s case to government and in the wider role of promoting the positive benefits of hydropower.  As the BHA representative in Northern Ireland, Trevor serves to encourage, promote and facilitate waterpower users with planning, environmental and electricity trading issues.  To get in touch with Trevor please contact BHA Head Office in the first instance, on 01258 840934 or at

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Our Sponsoring Members

British Hydropower Association – Representing the interests of the UK hydropower industry