Gilkes offering tours of 730-kW Frenich micro hydro project

Hydropower technology manufacturer Gilkes Hydro is giving the public an opportunity to visit the new 730-kW Frenich hydropower project.

The micro hydro plant, located on the shores of Loch Tummel in Scotland, began producing energy in May.

Gilkes said the event is a chance for future site owners and estate managers to see all aspects of an operational run-of-river hydropower installation. The open house includes a tour of the powerhouse and intake, with company staff on-hand to answer questions about the installation and other hydropower projects currently in development.

The event takes place Thursday, September 2013. Attendees are asked to register via Gilkes’ website here.

The company said said it started an initial feasibility studies for the plant in 2009 before receiving planning permission and Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) approval in 2011.

Construction began in April 2011, with Hydroplan acting as lead consultant and DA MacDonald from Lochgilphead serving as lead civil contractor.

“We are very pleased to have generated our first unit of energy,” landowner Penny McKerrow said. “After almost four years of work it is really exciting to see this project come to fruition.”

The Frenich powerhouse features a Gilkes twin jet Pelton turbine, allowing it to maintain high efficiency across a wide range of flow conditions, the company said.

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