Wales 10 years behind Scotland. Just returned from a hydro lesson in Scotland

pipe bridge for the Inverlael hydro near Ullapool(2.2MW) . NT team a bit damp what with all the hydro fuel falling out of the air

3 days and 5 hydros. Just returned from a re- energising visit to see various hydros in various state of operation or installation in Scotland. We organised a visit kindly hosted by Gilkes and RWE renewables to understand hydro and it’s implications. From smolts to screens and pen stocks to tail races. The objective for the whole visit was to start building a hydro vocabulary and understanding within the National Trust. We had Ed and Sam from our Architectural Panel, fellow enthusiasts Garry and John from N West and Hafod y Llan hydro project respectively and last but not least Liz  NT curator in N Wales.

Best time to see a hydro is when its going in. you get to understand the process and the what the site would look like. (Frenich 740kw) Thanks to Gilkes

We were in the Inverness area and visited the new Loch Broom 520kw, the being built Frenich 740kw, 2.2MW Inverlael and finally the soon to be completed 3.5MW Blackrock system. Contract management, procurement, ecological mitigation, risk management and so on. The visits have been invaluable and in moving us ever closer to mainstreaming hydro in the NT.

Mr Sharples admiring the Inverlael Gilkes Francis turbines (power house all underground) – Thanks to RWE

Why 10 years as mentioned in the title of this blog? It’s not only the construction experience which was evident in all the local companies and availability of specialists, the vast knowledge base  which has built but more than this it was the statutory body, government, developers, suppliers relationship and ongoing dialogue and understanding. It was good to see the relationships networked across all sectors and the constant refinement of ‘best practice’ which is not a task and finish job but is seen as on going and intrinsic to the sector in Scotland

Sam Price from the NT Architectural Panel and Gareth from Gilkes. Looks so simple! but actually it is in principle its just that all the sites are bespoke. Loch Broom 520kw Atholl Estate (Thanks to Gilkes)

I got totally immersed in hydros and to some depth – but more about this later when Garry sends the photos!!

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One Response to Wales 10 years behind Scotland. Just returned from a hydro lesson in Scotland

  1. tomeeagle says:

    Great pics as usual Keith – impressive installations there. I’d love to join you on any future trips like this if you go again.

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