Queen gets OK for hydro development at Balmoral Estate

3 April 2020

A new 2MW hydroelectric scheme will soon be generating power on the Queen’s Balmoral Estate in Scotland, as news reports suggest that planning permission has been given for the project, despite initial environmental objections.

The Telegraph has reported that the green light has been given to Balmoral Estate to build the run of river hydroelectric scheme on the River Muick, located approximately 7km to the south west of Ballater. 

The scheme comprises the construction of a low-profile intake on the River Muick, a buried pipeline approximately 3km long, a semi-buried powerhouse and a tailrace pipe and channel

returning the water to the river. Access will be by the existing estate track, with short spurs of new track from this to the intake and powerhouse. The scheme will be connected to the National Grid.

Plans for the project were originally met with objections that it could disturb wildlife living near the site. Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) considered the scheme and analysed its environmental impact, finally given approval to the project.

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