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The Ardchattan Hydro Scheme is a conventional 'run-of-river' scheme on the Esragan River, Argyll. It was developed by Ardchattan Hydro Ltd in partnership with Gilkes Energy Ltd.

The catchment area feeding the Ardchattan scheme is approx 14 square kilometres and is subject to, on average, 1,600 mm rainfall per annum.

The water is abstracted at a 2m high weir using a 'Coanda' style self-cleaning screen. The water is then conducted via a 1.5km long penstock pipeline to a powerhouse, giving 94m of gross head. The outlet is approximately 0.5km North of Loch Etive at Inveresragan. A secondary intake was utilised on a tributary to the Esragan, in order to increase the size of the catchment captured by the scheme.

The powerhouse is below ground level in a field adjacent to the Esragan River and contains the turbine, generator, hydraulics and the protection and control panels. A 415V/11kV transformer and switch unit are located outside the main powerhouse. The turbine installed is a Gilkes 22.5” Twin-Jet Turgo Impulse Turbine producing 920kW.

The full E&M (Electrical & Mechanical) package incorporating turbine, generator, protection and control panel, installation and commissioning was provided using a Gilkes Energy equipment lease meaning that approximately 25% less capital was required in order to develop the scheme.

The Gilkes Energy equipment lease is linked to an agreed % of revenue – if the scheme is not generating no lease payments are due (unlike bank debt) This reduces the overall financial risk for the owner as in dryer than average years the lease cost reduces.

Gilkes takes responsibility for maintenance and repair throughout lease period. The lease structure provides a reassuring incentive to Gilkes to keep the equipment running as efficiently as possible and develops a very close partnership between Gilkes and the Estate owner.

The system was installed and commissioned in 2009.

Click here to download the Ardchattan case study PDF. 

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