The project is part of SSE’s progressive programme to upgrade its hydro assets to extend their usable life and meet the government’s renewable energy targets.

ge-hydro will upgrade the hydro turbines at the Shin power station near Lairg, Sutherland and the Quoich station near Invergarry, Inverness-shire, both in the north of Scotland; and the Finlarig power station near Bridge of Balgie, Tayside, in the central region of the country.

The work scope includes the supply of new runners for each station, as well as new guide vanes for the Shin and Quoich stations, and new spears and nozzles at the Finlarig station. The power stations are all rated below 20MW.

The upgrade will increase the plants’ efficiency as well as qualify them for Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROC), part of a government programme to encourage the building of new renewable energy plants in the UK. The programme, established in April 2002, requires electricity suppliers to ensure that a proportion of the electricity they sell comes from ‘green’ sources.

Equipment for the project will be manufactured at GE Hydro’s Norway facility. The completion dates for the projects are June 2003 for the Quoich station, July 2003 for the Shin station, and November 2003 for the Finlarig station.