River Ness hydroelectric generator now fully operational
The Hydro Ness, a hydroelectric generator on the banks of the River Ness, is now fully operational.
Hydro Ness is a 92kW Archimedes screw hydroelectric scheme and interactive visitor experience which will generate over 500,000 kWh of renewable energy each year.
As water from the powerful River Ness flows into the Hydro, it will pass through spiral blades forcing the screw to turn. Energy generated from the movement will be converted into electricity.
The electricity generated will feed the nearby Inverness Leisure Centre, providing roughly 50% of the site’s electricity demand.
Leader of The Highland Council Councillor Raymond Bremner said: “I am delighted to see the turbines operational.
“The project team have been thorough in their monitoring of the scheme, and it is really exciting to be up and running.
“The river levels, in accordance with SEPA guidelines, will dictate when the turbines are operational, but it is fantastic to know we are now generating renewable electricity to help power Inverness Leisure.
“Electricity prices are increasing rapidly, and this project, and others like it, are vital in mitigating against market increases to help ensure the council, and our partners, continue to offer first-class services to the public.”
Director of sport and leisure at High Life Highland Douglas Wilby said: “This is a great milestone for what was a hugely ambitious project.
“Inverness Leisure is a unique building in its operation and offering; it caters for over 800,000 customer visits annually and we are an organisation that is determined to try and minimise our footprint whilst ensuring we continue to provide a vital function for the community.
“Hydro Ness is a project that helps us do that and it is very exciting to benefit from the electricity generated just a few hundred meetings from the building.”
Hydro Ness will showcase how science and nature can work together to make the world a better place and to encourage visitors to think about their personal impact on the environment.
The scheme, which includes the interactive visitor experience, will be open to the public from July 29.