Highland Council submits plans for Archimedes screw hydroelectric scheme
Highland Council has submitted a planning application for a low head hydroelectric development at the Torvean Weir on the River Ness.
Using an Archimedes screw, the hydroelectric scheme will have a generating capacity of up to 100kW and an average annual renewable energy output of approximately 600,000 kWh per annum. The renewable energy generated will return an income to the council through the Feed in Tariff mechanism and be connected to the local archive centre and leisure centre. The facility will be housed in an external shell providing shelter to visitors to the viewing area.
The development site is located at the Torvean Weir on the River Ness around 2km to the south west of Inverness town centre. The area surrounding the site will be planted with native species. Directly to the west of the site is a new bridge, constructed as part of the Inverness West Link development and to the east is an existing lade which formerly supplied water to a historic mill which was demolished a number of years ago.
In 2017, the renewable energy project was estimated to generate an income of around £90k-£120k for the council. The annual operating cost will be in the region of £15k. The installation will allow a controlled water flow, as well as providing sufficient screen to protect fish. The turbine is designed to have a low environmental impact.
Chair of the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee, Councillor Allan Henderson, said: “This modern, innovative project provides an excellent opportunity for the Council to generate income and renewable energy and make savings. The Archimedes Screw is a fascinating piece of engineering using proven technology which in itself should be a feature of significant interest and may hopefully inspire young scientists of tomorrow.”