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2MW of new hydro projects start generating

8th December 2015

Gilkes Energy is delighted to announce that two new hydro projects totalling 2MW have now started generating.

Aberchalder Hydro is located on the Easter Aberchalder Estate at the South West end of Loch Ness. It is a 0.5MW, high-head project incorporating two intakes and a twin-jet Pelton turbine. The project was commissioned in November.

Eas a Ghaill Hydro is located near the village of Dalmally, Arygll and is a 1.5MW, high-head project incorporating three intakes and a twin-jet Pelton turbine. The project was commissioned in December. The photograph above shows the purpose-built, larch-clad powerhouse nearing completion.

Commenting on the projects, Carl Crompton of Gilkes Energy said: "Thanks to everyone who has worked on bringing these two projects to fruition on time and budget.

The Aberchalder project was relatively straightforward from a technical perspective; a 'vanilla' 500kW project with two intakes, two types of pipeline material (Ductile Iron and Polyethylene) and a Gilkes Pelton turbine.

The Eas a Ghaill project at 1.5MW was a much larger and technically more complex project involving 3 intakes and a long (4km) pipeline over a relatively high-head (247m).

Both projects were delivered on time despite challenging terrain and weather conditions. They both blend in discretely and sensitively with their respective landscapes. They are environmentally and ecologically benign, have a long lifetime, contribute to the UK's renewable energy targets and are generally supported by local communities and the wider general public.

Both projects were only made possible by the current Feed In Tariff "FiT" mechanism. Although the FiT is a form of subsidy it is "money well spent" in that it contributes to the fight against climate change and has a positive 'ripple effect' on both the local economy and on a number of UK manufacturers. Unfortunately, the proposed cuts to the Hydro Feed-In-Tariff mean that great projects such as these will unlikely be developed in the future."

Click here for more information on the Aberchalder project and here for the Eas a Ghaill project including photographs of both the construction phase and finished projects.