Gilkes completes work on 700-kW Neaty micro hydro plant

The 700-kW Neaty micro hydroelectric project is now in operation, according to equipment supplier Gilkes Energy.

Located on Culligran Estate about an hour west of Inverness, the Neaty plant is a joint venture between Gilkes Energy and landowner Frank Spencer-Nairn.

The project includes a 1.6-kilometer-long pipe that transfers water from the intake to the powerhouse, with a gross head of 209 meters. The pipeline uses high-density polyethylene (HDPE) in the low-presser upper section, and ductile iron (DI) in the high-pressure lower section.

Electricity is generated via a Gilkes Twin Jet Pelton turbine, which is an impulse type turbine designed for high-head applications with high efficiency across a range of flows.

“It is the first project where Gilkes Energy has taken full technical design and project management responsibility, as well as being a partner in the joint venture,” Gilkes representative Fraser Allison said. “We are very pleased to have delivered this project on time, so securing the current Feed-In Tariff, and within budget.”

Feasibility work on the project began in 2009. Planning permission and a Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) water use license were obtained in 2012. work began on the project last year following the procurement and financial close process. Gilkes served as lead design and project manager, with MAM Construction hired as lead civil contractor.

“The project has contributed to the local economy and employment, and complements the estate’s other activities,” Allison said. “Thanks to all who contributed to this project.”

Gilkes completed work on a similar small hydropower project in May 2013.

For more small hydropower news, visit here.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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