Scotland’s deputy first minister John Swinney is scheduled to visit the Buckny hydro-electric scheme near Butterstone in Perthshire today (25 Sept) to declare the hydro officially open.
Fed by the Buckny burn, which runs down from the hills of Riemore to Butterstone village and into the Clunie Loch, the scheme is producing enough renewable energy to power 500 homes for 100 years.
From an intake weir 155 metres above the Buckny Powerhouse, water is delivered down 2.8km of underground pipeline to a 500kW Pelton turbine, which generates an average 2,000 megawatt hours of renewable electricity per year – enough to supply approximately 500 houses.
Civil engineering was conducted by Campbell-of-Doune, Crieff; turbine engineering by Newmills,County Antrim (now Your Hydro); groundworks by MAM, Crieff, powerhouse construction by Bruar Construction, Calvine; environmental management by MNV, Callander, and project management by Hydrosurvey, Cumbria.
Swinney is also due to visit the nearby New School in Butterstone, which is pioneering provision for young adults as part of a development plan formed in partnership with Buckny Hydro.
The majority of students at the school have a diagnosis of a condition which has created barriers to their social, emotional or educational development, such as autistic spectrum conditions, Tourette’s Syndrome and behavioural or mental health conditions.
Alexander Linklater, Partner, Buckny Hydro, said: “This has been four years in the making – the work of an incredible team of engineers, environmental specialists and contractors from Perthshire, Cumbria and Northern Ireland – and we are very proud of the Buckny scheme.
“If Buckny Hydro is the economic backbone of our partnership, the New School is its social heart.”
“I hope we show our MSP an example of renewable energy paving the way for sustainable development in the gateway to the Highlands. We need partnerships between energy, education, enterprise and local government to develop a living, working place.