Development and construction for RWE Innogy’s new hydro power project in Wester Ross has taken a major step forward with confirmation of the two major contracts for construction and turbine-supply.
Farrans Construction has been appointed as the civil engineering contractor for the 2 MW Grudie hydroelectric scheme at Loch Maree while Gilkes UK Hydro has been contracted to design, supply and install the turbine.
The scheme could generate up to 2,000 kilowatts (kW) of electricity which in an average year is enough to meet the electricity needs of about 1,100 homes.
The grid connection will be carried out by Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution.
Consented by Highlands Council in September 2014, Farrans will commence ground works at Grudie, a run-of-river scheme in Loch Maree, Wester Ross by the end of this month.
Mary Drury, RWE Innogy UK’s Development and Projects Manager, commented: “Despite the recent cuts in Government support for hydro under FiTs, RWE Innogy UK is still looking for other opportunities to increase our hydro portfolio.
“We are working actively with the British Hydro Association to influence future Government strategies that will support hydro of all scales in the future.”
Neil McDonald, Farrans’ Contract Manager, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the Grudie Hydro Scheme contract and the site team, led by Bob Dooner, are very much looking forward to the challenge, as well as working closely with RWE and the various stakeholders involved.
Matthew Crosher, Gilkes UK Hydro Sales Manager, said: “The Grudie project will be the 12th scheme that Gilkes have supplied turbines to for RWE projects over the past 23 years – totalling 19 turbines.”
RWE Innogy UK currently provides £19,000 a year to communities in Scotland through benefit funds connected to its hydro schemes for the full lifetime of RWE’s operation.