example 14kW turbine
The final draft of the feasibility study into micro hydro-electric generation has been delivered. If you remember, way back in February, IT Power carried out site surveys at Govig, Rhenigedale, Kyles and Urgha. They looked at these four rivers to determine whether it would be economically viable to generate electricity from them. In addition to studying the hydrology i.e how much water there would be, the consultants looked at the cost to construct, and the availability of grid connection, to export any electricity generated. The study ranked the rivers in the following order:
With nearly a 17m head and a reasonable flow of water, this site is by far the most attractive. Grid connection is within 50m and the consultants suggest a 12.7kW turbine could be supported. Simple payback with no grant funding is just over 7 years.
On first pass this river looks perfect. There is a huge drop to the shore, and plenty of water. The catch is that the grid connection is at the top of the hill – so even if we could generate lots of electricity, with a turbine at the bottom of the big drop there would be no way of using it.
There is only a 7.3m head here, but with the loch to provide a steady flow of water, the site is thought to have potential for a 6.2kW turbine. The grid connection is less than 100m away, which makes export of the electricity relatively easy. Payback, without any grant funding would be about 12 years.
The site on Laxdale Lochs has an excellent flow of water, with a large catchment. The hydrology would support a 22.4kW turbine, but the issue is grid connection. The existing grid lines, which we would have to connect to, to export electricity, are over 600m away. This would mean significant additional construction expense.
The Directors of the Trading company have reviewed the study and have chosen to take forward the Govig and Kyles schemes. The consultants will submit details of the two schemes to the council to obtain a Scoping Opinion. This will gather first thoughts on the schemes from all the statutory consultees in the formal planning process. At this stage we will obtain more detail on the optimum siting of intake weirs and turbine sheds.
Whilst all the larger generation projects are on hold in the Western Isles, including our own 150kW hydro scheme at Bunavoneader, this project will allow North Harris Trading to maintain its momentum. Despite the shelving of the Monan windfarm, we are still working on a number of fronts to construct revenue-generating schemes to sustain the North Harris Trust activities.