Gilkes Energy breaks ground on Scottish small hydropower project

Scottish power developer Gilkes Energy has begun work on a new small hydropower project on the Atholl Estate near Perthshire.

The 1.7-MW Bruar plant will have a medium-head and a single intake, with a high-pressure pipeline and twin Francis turbines in the powerhouse. The project will rely on an existing dam to provide water storage.

“Atholl Estates is delighted to see the start of this project,” estate owner Jamie Troughton said. “We have been working with the Gilkes Energy team on this project for a number of years and it is exciting to finally see diggers on the ground.”

Gilkes Energy received planning permission and a Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) Controlled Activities Regulations (CAR) license in late 2012. The company said it then achieved financial closing with Downing Renewables after conducting a “detailed tendering and procurement exercise”.

“It has taken time to get going, but we approached the project knowing it is important to ensure everything is properly researched, consented, designed and financed,” Troughton said.

Gilkes Energy conducted a “turf cutting” ceremony earlier this month, though substantial work on the Bruar project isn’t expected to begin for another few weeks. The project planned to be put into operation by the end of 2015.

HydroWorld.com reported earlier this month that Gilkes Energy had completed work on the 1.9-MW Ederline hydropower plant near Ford, Scotland. The company has also recently completed a 730 kW project in Pitlochry and a 700 kW project in near Glen Strathfarrar.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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