Littlehouse Media

New hydro scheme powers Scottish mountain resort

Nevis Range Hydro Company, the sister business to Nevis Range Mountain Experience in Lochaber, today (23/10/17) celebrated the completion of a new hydroelectric scheme, that has now powered the Nevis Range base station and gondola since December 2016, with a ceremony performed by Paul Wheelhouse MSP, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy.

 

Scottish Government Minister for business, innovation and energy Paul Wheelhouse said: “I warmly congratulate the Nevis Range Hydro Company for the realisation of such a forward-thinking and ambitious project and the hard work that has clearly underpinned the delivery of the project.

 

“I’m sure that constructing a hydro-electric scheme so close to Ben Nevis itself, in a National Scenic Area and close to the summit of one of highest peaks in the British Isles was not without its challenges – but the creation of a sustainable and affordable, green energy source should hopefully prove to be just reward for those endeavours. This £4 million investment will ensure a financially and environmentally sustainable power supply to support vital local economic activity at Aonach Mor, including skiing and mountain biking.

 

“The Scottish Government is committed to realising its vision for a low carbon future and strongly supports investment in new hydro schemes. The 1.1MW Nevis Range hydroelectric scheme is a fine example of sustainable, low carbon investment, and I am honoured to be here to officially open it.”

 

The new hydroelectric scheme, situated at the Allt choille Rais – known to skiers and boarders as the Braveheart Burn in the ‘Back Corrie’ of Aonach Mor, has an electrical output range of 40kW to 1.1MWh from two 550kW Pelton turbines. The scheme is projected to generate 3,700MWh per annum, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of over 1000 households.

 

The power generated from the turbines is transferred via an 11kV private HV cable to the Nevis Range Gondola Station. The power is then used onsite with any excess being exported to the National Grid.

 

Peter MacFarlane, managing director of Nevis Range, said: “The idea of building a hydro scheme was an attractive one to Nevis Range. Not only did we want to produce green power with the option to export any excess to the National Grid, reduce carbon emissions and help mitigate climate change, we were also looking for a way to benefit from the periods of wet and windy weather when our visitor attraction and ski area struggles to generate income from its normal business.”

 

The hydro project was first conceived in September 2012 after the then Nevis Range Chairman, Jim Gunn, looked at various options and staff from Greencat Renewables walked over the ground at Allt choille Rais. A separate company, Nevis Range Hydro Company, was then formed to raise the investment for the development. After a number of lengthy negotiations regarding the leases, planning permission, grid connections; and the raising of a 3.2m loan, the construction of the high voltage cable route started in late 2015 and the pipeline in spring 2016.

 

Marian Austin, a director of Nevis Range Hydro Company and responsible for liaison between the various partners involved in the build, said: “This hydro scheme was a hugely challenging project due to the remoteness of the intake, the steepness of the terrain and its location within the Ben Nevis Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and the National Scenic Area (NSA).

 

“The contractors, George Leslie Ltd had to bring in specialist equipment such as a walking digger from Hitrak in Beauly and manpower from GeoRope in Ballachulish. As the development of a road to the intake was ruled out, materials such as pipes, concrete and machinery had to be flown to the site by helicopter.”

 

The new hydro scheme started generating in December 2016, but it was too late in the year to finish the reinstatement of the pipeline and the access roads, so this work was carried out over summer of 2017 and has only recently been completed.

 

Peter MacFarlane added: “We have already seen the benefits of cheaper electricity over the summer. The snowmelt from the Back Corrie in the spring also meant our hydro scheme continued to generate small amounts of electricity when other schemes were struggling.”

 

Marian Austin also commented: “The turbines have generated over 2.5 million kWh to date. This is good news for Nevis Hydro Company as we borrowed £3.2m from Close Brothers Asset Finance and need to make a start on paying it back.”

 

Green Cat Renewables, and sister company Prelec were delighted to partner and invest in the Nevis Range project. Green Cat and Prelec provided technical expertise on the hydro scheme, and electrical integration respectively.

 

Director, Gavin Catto, commented: “This has been a fantastic project to be involved with. It has been one of the most complex renewable energy projects both technically and commercially built in recent years, and we worked well with Nevis Range, who came to us with a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve.

 

“I am very pleased that we managed to work together to deliver this project that will, I am sure, help ensure a long term sustainable future for the Nevis Range ski and outdoor centre.”

 

Ends

 

Images:

For images of the launch ceremony go to: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rsjrff2njnraor7/AAA_tCNtsmk3EEtFop1c-ihda?dl=0

 

Media contact:

Heather Negus | Nevis Range | 01397 705825 | [email protected]

 

Notes to editors:

 

Nevis Range Hydro Company Hydroelectric Scheme

The new hydroelectric scheme is located on the Allt Chroille-Rais, west of the Nevis Range Mountain Experience. Water is abstracted from the burn via an intake structure and transported down to the powerhouse through 1.5km of pressurised pipe. The total head is 318m that gives a working pressure of just under 32bar. The pressurised water drives two 550kW Pelton turbines, before returning to the burn. The total electrical output is 1,100kW. The power generated is transferred via an 11kV private HV cable to the Nevis Range Gondola Station. The power is then used onsite with any excess being exported to the National Grid. The scheme is projected to generate 3,700MWh each year which is equivalent the annual electricity consumption of over 1000 households.

 

Green Cat Renewables is a renewable energy consultancy founded in December 2004 by Gavin Catto. The company has offices across Scotland in Biggar, Edinburgh, Livingston and Inverurie, employing 50+ technical staff, and opened an office in Calgary, Canada, earlier this year.

The company was established with an aim of driving down the costs associated with the development of renewables projects and making renewables accessible beyond the large developers and utilities.

 

Green Cat identified an opportunity to improve efficiency and reduce development costs by offering a complete in-house consultancy and project management service to deliver projects from initial conception to operation. Green Cat’s experience profile includes 500MW+ of wind, 200MW+ of solar and 20MW+ of hydro projects.

 

Green Cat has two sister companies, Green Cat Contracting and Prelec, both based in Scotland and providing services for renewable energy projects.

You Might Also Like

Go Swim Loch Lomond – a new open water event for Scotland

Hot water on tap for Loch Ossian Youth Hostel

Cream O’ The Croft – far more than just a bike festival

SYHA partners with Ayrshire College for valuable volunteer experience

Epic Halloween tale of ‘Ned vs Monster’ in the Outdoor Capital

Nevis Range partner with Disability Snowsport UK for Winter 18/19

Young ‘Fifers’ invited to collaborate in Eliminator Bike Festival

Run Scotland on The Ultra Tour of Arran

It’s all about head to head bike racing at Fife’s Eliminator

Fife farmland to host the new Eliminator MTB Weekender Festival

Cyclists Get into Gear for Angus Cycling Festival

Media Advisory – Cancellation of The Mighty Deerstalker, Saturday 03 March 2018, The Scottish Borders

Lochaber Tourism Day with Cal Mac – Debate, Engage, Network

Entries open for SKI-AN-DURO, Scotland’s new ski and mountain bike Enduro

Expose yourself the No Fuss way

Muckin’ good news for two wheeled Early Birds

The Ultra Tour of Arran, a big draw for international adventure tourists

Sporting legend Gavin Hastings to inspire Lochaber at Ideas Week 2017

The Falkirk Funduro 2017: mountain biking fun with two capital F’s

Muckin’ good festive discounts on Muckmedden 2018 bike events

Another Muckin’ great line-up of mountain bike events announced for 2017

Nevis Range and Trek announce a partnership for 2018/19

Hostelling Scotland, a new brand identity unveiled

Nevis Range moving forward with interim CEO Rod Pashley

ITV4 to screen every minute of OVO Energy Tour of Britain live

No Fuss partnerships lead the way for Scotland’s Enduro

Best seat in the house! Where to catch Stage 1 – The OVO Energy Tour of Britain

Scotland’s mountain bike Enduro World Series qualifier sold out in record time

Geraint Thomas and Owain Doull return to OVO Energy Tour of Britain

IRONKIDS activity programmes promote healthy and active lifestyles – SUN, FUN, RUN!

Jura, the Border Collie, trains to become the first Ski Patrol rescue dog at Nevis Range

Start your Highland biking adventure at the new Nevis Range Bike School

Fair City Enduro Confirmed As Scotland’s Only Enduro World Series Qualifier

Chris O’Brien appointed Destination Manager for the Outdoor Capital of the UK

Summer Youth Hostel Returns to Glasgow

Media Advisory – UK’s highest Shinty match to promote tourism in Lochaber

Cream o’ the Croft: three Muckin’ good family festivals rolled into one!

Young volunteers wanted to run IRONKIDS Scotland running events

New massed ultra running tour to challenge Edinburgh’s visitors

No Fuss serve up a vindaloo of an off road bike festival

Youth development key to Edinburgh Central’s 10th Anniversary

Business Community Programme launched for Lochaber Ideas Week 2018

Young event assistants invited to join the IRONKIDS Scotland event team

Huge demand for ultrarunner Jasmin Paris at Fort William Mountain Festival

Danny MacAskill launches video, ‘Danny Daycare’. Best ‘uncle’ ever?

Halloween fancy dress mountain bike Enduro returns to Perth

Paul Merton Visits SYHA’s Loch Ossian Hostel – Paul Merton’s Secret Stations

Lochaber’s ‘Connect to Your Adventure’ digital marketing campaign, a huge success

Two Scottish youth hostels celebrate landmark anniversaries

Do we hear Muckwedding Belles in Fife?

Enduro World Series Qualifier, Kinlochleven – Race Report

#myoutdoorcapital – OCUK to put visitors firmly in the frame

Fort William has all the Mòd cons

Fife farm to be transformed for a family bike and outdoor festival

New European partnership to upskill adventure tourism in five countries

Media Advisory – Images – The Ultra Tour of Edinburgh

The new Pentland Trail Centre – The future for Edinburgh biking

SYHA appoints Lois Marshall as Youth & Volunteer Engagement Manager

Nevis Range team up with Endura

A Mucky Duathlon for the Eliminator Bike Festival in Fife

Muckin’ good discounts for a muckin’ good 2019 event programme

Young people invited to collaborate in Muckin’ good summer festivals

Danny MacAskill celebrates Edinburgh anniversary with Fringe debut at Circus Hub

Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival 2018 – The Long Road To Adventure

The ultimate runners’ sightseeing tour of Edinburgh returns

Run Scotland in two days with the new Ultra Tour of Arran

Nevis Range, Scotland’s highest snowsports destination, open for business

A muckin’ great Audax, perfect for Cream o’ the Croft road cyclists

Get your adventure challenge on with Project: Explore

Winner covers 319km at The UK 24hr Mountain Bike Championships

Up to 350 riders will take on the Fair City Enduro when it returns to Perth

Fort William – the perfect cruise destination

Muckin’ good mountain bike events launched for 2016

Glen Nevis Youth Hostel re-opens after major redevelopment project

Route announcement confirmed for HSBC City Ride in Edinburgh

Big Biking October – two International bike events for the Outdoor Capital

Coast to Coast – run, bike ride and kayak 105 miles across Scotland

Planning on holidaying at home? Give hostelling a go!

SYHA Hostelling Scotland assist in a Recovery Version

Cameron McNeish wins 2018 Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture

VisitScotland’s Lord Thurso to deliver The Charles Kennedy Memorial Lecture

National Funding Boost for Cream o’ the Croft and The Eliminator

SYHA’s Glasgow Metro youth hostel awarded 3 stars by VisitScotland

Nevis Range and Trek renew commercial partnership for 2019/20

Changing times at Nevis Range Mountain Experience!

The Fort William Mountain Festival 2018 – Celebrate the great outdoors

Paralympic Gold Medallist Neil Fachie To Attend HSBC UK City Ride Edinburgh

New Lochaber website aiming high

SYHA collaborates with Glasgow Caledonian University

SYHA opens new summer youth hostel in Edinburgh

The Cream of Enduro will rise to the top at Comrie Croft

Discover Scotland’s ‘Braw Buildings’ with Hostelling Scotland

People are at the heart of SYHA Hostelling Scotland!

Are you hard enough to take on The Double Stalker?

SKI-AN-DURO, a new ski and mountain bike Enduro for Scotland

Mountain Bikers Gear Up for a Fun Day’s Night in Falkirk

No Fuss add two International MTB events to 2018 programme

IRONKIDS Scotland – 3,000 kids to take part in global running series

No Fuss running events given Compression boost in 2018

World teams heading to Edinburgh for OVO Energy Tour of Britain

No Fuss for Kinlochleven, the UK’s only Enduro World Series Qualifier

Alex Dowsett confirms return to OVO Energy Tour of Britain

‘Connect To Your Adventure!’ – big success in just 7 weeks

Tour De Ben Nevis and and Ultra Marathon De Ben Nevis – Race Report

Rob Cochrane wins 2019 Scottish Youth Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture

Media Advisory – 500 runners to tame Edinburgh with the inaugural Ultra Tour

Hostelling Scotland opens four summer youth hostels in 2018

A new mucky duathlon for the Eliminator Weekender in Fife

300 Dutch adventurers to run, bike and kayak across Scotland

OCUK unveil their new branded gondola at Nevis Range

Millburn Academy ensures a warm welcome to Inverness Youth Hostel

Mark Cavendish to return at the OVO Energy Tour of Britain

Noel Williams wins 2019 Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture

SYHA Hostelling Scotland – building Scottish hostelling for the future

Competition Climber, Shauna Coxsey, wins Scottish Youth Ambassador Award

Margo Paterson appointed as CEO of SYHA Hostelling Scotland

POC headline sponsor for Scottish Enduro Series for sixth year

Archibald urges Edinburgh locals to sign up for HSBC UK City Ride

Keith Legge, CEO of SYHA Hostelling Scotland, steps down after 13 years

Scottish Enduro Series confirms POC as headline sponsor for fifth year