Gilkes Energy has commissioned two new hydro projects with a total capacity of 2.3MW in Scotland – both on time and in budget, the company has announced.
The first, Ben Glas Hydro, is located just north of Loch Lomond, and is a 1.3MW, high head, low-flow project incorporating a twin intake, high pressure pipeline and twin-jet Pelton turbine. The second, Leacann Hydro, is located near the village of Furnace, Arygll and is a 1MW, medium-head, medium-flow project incorporating a triple intake, medium bore pipeline and twin-jet Pelton turbine.
Both projects were commissioned in September 2016.
Commenting on the project, Fraser Allison of Gilkes Energy, said: "The two projects are similar in some respects: both have catchments of approximately 6km2, both use Gilkes twin jet Pelton turbines and both use similar pipe materials - polyethylene in the upper sections and high pressure ductile iron in the lower sections. In other respects they are different: for example Leacann uses 3 intakes to capture the necessary catchment and drops a vertical distance of 188m (the "Head" of the scheme). Ben Glas uses 2 intakes and drops a much greater vertical distance of 316m. Both projects had their respective engineering and construction challenges. The Ben Glas pipeline route in particular was tricky because large quantities of rock had to be excavated from terrain which was not immediately accessible and meant working on very steep gradients."
"The Leacann and Ben Glas projects are our 10th and 11th hydro project to be commissioned in the last thre years – all on time and budget,” added Carl Crompton, Director of Gilkes Energy. “Well done to the team for delivering yet again. The two projects have supported approximately 25 full-time jobs at a very local level, for the duration of the construction period, along with 7-8 highly skilled engineering and project management jobs, all based in Scotland. As they now move into the operational phase the projects will continue to support employment in the form of permanent local 'caretakers' and maintenance and service jobs. The projects will also contribute to the UK's renewable energy targets by generating low-cost, clean energy for many years to come."