US$1.6 million small hydro project in Scotland begins construction

Preparatory construction work has begun on the run-of-river 100-kW Donside Hydro Scheme being built on the site of the former Donside Papermill, now Donside Village, in Aberdeen, Scotland.

The US$1.6 million small hydro facility will harness the power of the River Don, send energy to the national grid and is expected to be completed by October 2016.

The system’s powerhouse elements include:

  • 100-kW Archimedes Screw turbine; 
  • Screw length — 5.61 m; 
  • Screw weight — 20 tonnes; 
  • Available head 1.75 m; and 
  • Maximum flow rate of 10,000 liters per second.

The community project is being developed by Aberdeen Community Energy (ACE). ACE is a community benefit society, which was set up in 2015 by the Donside Community Association, to build, own and operate the Donside Hydro Scheme.

ACE Director, Sinclair Laing, said, “The Donside Hydro will help Scotland on its journey towards 100% renewable electricity by 2020, and it will also create a sustainable community that truly works for its inhabitants and riverside setting.”

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for

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