The Aberchalder Hydro Project is a 0.5MW scheme located on the Easter Aberchalder Estate, at the south west end of Loch Ness.
A 1.76km pipe transfers water from two intakes to the powerhouse. The vertical drop, known as the 'Gross Head' of the project is 187m. As is typical in projects of this type the pipeline is made of two different materials; High Performance Poly Ethylene (HPPE) in the upper section, and Ductile Iron (DI) in the lower section. A Gilkes Twin-Jet Pelton solution is used, operating at a design flow of 377 l/s. This turbine is an impulse type turbine which is optimised for high-head, low-to-medium-flow applications and provides high efficiency at peak power.
The project was developed to the point of achieving planning permission and the necessary permits by RWE Innogy and further developed to a "construction ready" stage by Gilkes Energy in December 2014. Gilkes Energy is engaged in the lead engineer role, providing design, project management and construction supervision services during the construction phase, as well as managing the operation and maintenance of the facility thereafter. The civil construction team, MAM Contracting, an experienced civil contractor based near Crief, Perthshire fully mobilized in January 2015.
The project started generating in November 2015 and was delivered on time and on budget.
See photographs above of both the construction phase and the finished project.
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