Posts Tagged ‘north harris’

No more water tankers to Huisinis ?

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Today saw the arrival of the new Water Treatment Works serving Govig, through to Huisinis. After years of lobbying and hours spent poring over croft maps with various Scottish Water consultants, the Trust  can now see the results of its efforts.

Preparing to lift the first unit

Last night two landing craft delivered a crane and two pre-fabricated plant buildings onto the beach at Huisinis. The crane lifted the two units up onto the road to be conveyed to the construction sites, back towards Govig. The pre-fab units were too large to pass under the arch at Amhuinnsuidhe Castle.

Evening arrival

Scottish Water is investing £4.5M in 3.7miles of new pipework, a water treatment plant and a storage tank. This will improve the reliability of the water supply to the villages at the far west of the estate. It will put an end to tankers delivering water from Stornoway to top up the reservoirs every other day in high season.

The last load on terra firma

The North Harris Trust will continue to lobby for upgrades in the remaining villages in the west of the estate where future developments are restricted by reliance upon local boreholes and streams.

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Need business space?

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SURVEY INTO PROVISION OF NEW BUSINESS PREMISES IN NORTH HARRIS

It was recently announced that Highlands & Islands Enterprise is supporting a Market Assessment and Feasibility Study for The North Harris Trust (NHT), into the provision of new business premises in North Harris. Following its completion of the Iomairt an Obain business development, NHT now wishes to build on this success, encouraging other businesses to create more local employment opportunities.

Iomairt an Obain

The contract was awarded to SKS Scotland, who are carrying out an initial survey to determine demand for any newly-constructed premises.

Calum MacKay, Chair of The North Harris Trust said; “This is an excellent opportunity for any businesses on Harris or nearby to give their opinion about what is needed and what they want to see in Harris.  The survey is also relevant for people who would be interested in starting up their own business but currently feel limited by lack of appropriate space or other factors.”

Calum continued; “We would encourage anyone who feels this might be relevant to them to complete the survey, which is available on line at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Harrispremises, and make sure their opinion is heard!”

Alternatively, hard copies are available from the NHT office: Tigh an Urrais, Tarbert, Isle of Harris, and via the NHT website https://www.north-harris.org/

The survey will be open until the 19th July at 5pm.

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Lets get snorkelling

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Following the launch last month of the North Harris Snorkel Trail, a leaflet has been produced to give more information on the six specially-selected sites in North Harris.

 

Download the leaflet HERE or read up on the Scottish Wildlife Trust and their crusade to get people to experience life below the waves.

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Harris’ young scientists investigate

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Earlier this month, we hosted a visit to the Bunavoneader Hydro-electric scheme. The Science Club at Sir E Scott primary school has been working on a hydro-electric project and wanted to see a full-sized scheme in operation. The pupils hiked up to the intake and then back down to look around the turbine house. The visit took place in an unusually dry spell, so the turbine was not working on the day, however everyone did go home clean and dry!

The Trust is part owner of a windfarm and a hydro-electric scheme. These are proving to be great educational resources for the local school.

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Toilets no more

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The building that provided relief to so many, is no more. Huisinis public toilets were leveled today to make way for the new Huisinis Gateway development.

Excavators will be hard at work over the next four weeks preparing the site for foundations and a new carpark. They will then move up the road to the quarry that will be turned into a licenced camping area for campervans.

The construction project will run until August, so the Trust has installed temporary toilet facilities opposite the development for the duration. The existing carpark has been taken out of use as it now forms part of the construction site. Temporary parking space is available over at the Scarp jetty.

The recent decision by Scottish Water to suspend the new water main to Huisinis will hopefully only have a minor impact upon the project. We had planned to install a water supply at the campervan site. This will no longer be possible. The existing supplies down at the Huisinis Gateway will be made available for campers, alongside the new chemical disposal point. A decision on how we will operate the showers will be made once we know the outcome of the Scottish Water review.

The funding search is still on for the finishing details. Our application to the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund was successful. £4500 has been received to provide waste recycling bins. This will cut the volume of waste heading to the landfill site from Huisinis. Bord na Gaidhlig has also awarded us £1500 towards the cost of bilingual signage.

For more details of the project, click HERE

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Huisinis Gateway gets underway

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We have finally secured all the funding required to get the construction project under way. With Highlands and Islands Enterprise confirming their award alongside CnES and LEADER, we can now start looking for someone to build the new facilities. The opportunity is now live on the Public Contracts Scotland web portal so we have a month of waiting to see who’s interested in building in one of the remotest corners of the remotest corner of the country!

We hope to be awarding a contract in January and breaking ground in the spring. See plans of the proposed development HERE.

HuisinisFundersLogo

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Another 100 homes with green energy

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Bunavoneader hydro-electric scheme is finally operational!

Back in July, Ross-shire Engineering handed the scheme over to River Generation Limited (RGL). RGL is the developer and the joint venture company formed by the Trust and Sustainable Technology Investors Limited. The main works were complete and the scheme entered a phase of close monitoring. Despite three weeks in October with no rain, we have now emerged from this phase, and all systems are go, as we enter the rainy season.

shed

Nestling amongst the houses in Bunavoneader, you’ll see a new building , the size of a double garage, with a red roof. This is the turbine house located at the bottom of 250m of 630mm pipe. The pipe brings water form a new intake up the river behind the old dam. The turbine is located inside, along with the electricity grid connection point. Water is returned to the river at the side of the building.

turbineInside the building is a 100kW Francis turbine. You’ll just see in the picture above, the intake pipe entering the buiding, under all the dials on the wall. The pipe or penstock feeds water around the outside of the turbine, through the blades and out from the middle of the casing, down into the ground. The big blue box with the black wires is the generator which is attached to the spinning blades to make electricity.

The scheme is now exporting electricity to the Harris grid. It is forecast to generate  371,000 units of electricity each year -enough to power over 100 homes. The crofter and the Bunavoneader-Meavaig North grazings committee will benefit directly from a share of the rent paid by RGL. The wider North Harris & Scalpay residents will benefit indirectly through the Trust’s share. The scheme is a good example of how the Trust aims to make best use of the 25,000ha North Harris estate for the benefit of the whole community.

 

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Science Club at Monan

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The Tarbert Primary School Science Club members visited the Monan Windfarm last week. On a still day, they took in the views and got up close to a 500kW Windflow wind turbine.

pupils

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Scalpay Turbine update

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Work is now nearly complete on the new windturbine at Outend, Scalpay.

nacelle comp

An Orenda Skye 50kW turbine has been installed over the last few weeks by West Coast Energee from South Uist. The grid connection has been completed and there’s a satellite broadband connection for engineers to monitor operations.

The Scalpay turbine is one of ten machines being installed by Orenda Energy Solutions for Britannia Energy. One of their directors, based in Inverness, was here last month visiting the site for the first time.

NHT has leased the site to Orenda for 25 years. Various improvements have been made to the “peat road” as part of the project. The cost of upgrading the electricity grid for the turbine made the project non-viable for the Trust to develop itself.

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Bunavoneader update

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intake2

New intake, located behind old dam

The last update on the Bunavoneader Hydro-electric Scheme was in September when the sun was still shining and the intake was being cast. Since then, much water has flowed down the river. The intake was completed and over the winter, the surrounding area was landscaped. When the weather improved, work started at the bottom of the scheme, constructing the turbine house.

At the end of April, amongst snow showers, the external works are complete. Technicians are huddled together inside installing cabling and control equipment in the turbine house. The key milestone will be reached in mid-May when the electricity grid will be connected to the site. Provided we have enough rain, the scheme will be commissioned soon after. What are the chances of a June drought in Harris?

 

Generator in foreground, turbine behind

Generator in foreground, turbine behind

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